Westport Conn. native Lindsey Runkel receives $3,000 Empowerment Grant from California-based High Fives Foundation towards recovery from life-altering mountain biking injury

Empowerment Grant will provide Runkel with 30 sessions of electrical stimulation training at Journey Forward in Canton, MA

#HighFivesAthlete Lindsey Runkel all smiles!

The High Fives Foundation is awarding 24-year-old Lindsey Runkel a board-approved Empowerment Grant to help aid in her recovery from a life-altering injury she suffered while mountain biking in October, 2014. Runkel was attempting a 15-foot drop on her bike when she landed too far forward and was thrown from the handle bars.

#HighFivesAthlete Lindsey Runkel

Runkel was originally diagnosed as an ASIA A complete spinal cord injury, but she has been seeing encouraging improvements with increased sensation and motor skills returning.

Lindsey Runkel going big! #HighFivesAthlete

The April Empowerment Grant will provide 30 sessions of FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) at Journey Forward in Canton, Mass. FES is a rehabilitation technique whereby electrical current stimulates nerves to evoke muscle contractions. FES creates patterned movement of the legs, enabling the muscles to work and perform active cycling and increase muscles mass.

#HighFivesAthlete Lindsey Runkel

Lindsey has two recovery goals: To return to standing on her feet and ultimately riding her bike. Her second goal is to empower people, showing them that anything is possible, even when faced with major adversity. She wants people to know that they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to, as long as they are willing to put in the hard work and necessary determination.

#HighFivesAthlete Lindsey Runkel

Since the High Fives Foundation’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment program service has assisted 79 athletes from 20 states in nine respective funding categories which include: living expenses, insurance, travel, health, healing network, adaptive equipment, winter equipment, programs and “stoke” (positive energy, outlook and attitude). In 2015, the High Fives Foundation set a budget of disbursing $266,000 via board-approved grants through the Empowerment Fund. Since January 2015, 18 High Fives Athletes and two organizations have been awarded 22 board-approved grants totaling  $146,793.

In the month of April the High Fives Foundation disbursed $58,361 in board-approved grants — the most in grant funding in a single month in it’s history.

April Empowerment Athletes:
Jim Harris from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Barclay Talbot from Cazenovia, NY.
Jason Abraham from Tahoe City, Calif.
Lindsay Runkel from Westport, Conn.
Bill Winchester from Reno, Nev.
Megan Wemmer of Boulder, Colo.

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