The High Fives Foundation supports injured mountain action sports athletes through grant funding to be used towards reaching their recovery goals.
Since the Foundation’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment program service has assisted 167 athletes from 31 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).
Through September 2017, the High Fives Foundation has approved, $444,673.84 in 114 board-approved grants to 73 individuals across 23 states (including the 2017 Military to the Mountains Program) and the sponsorship of two adaptive sport teams.
In September 2017, the High Fives Foundation experienced its’ largest grant cycle in the young organization’s history, granting $110,578.89 to 22 individuals and the sponsorship of a wheelchair rugby team in Reno, NV and one sled hockey team in Central Vermont. 11 of these individuals reside in Central, US.
Meet the September 2017 Central Athletes;
Soren Lindholm | Carbondale, CO
At the Free Heel Life Cup finals (a tele-mark skiing big mountain competition) Soren chose a difficult, yet skiable line, featuring a double cliff air near the bottom of his line. His run was going great until it come to the double cliff. He went off the first cliff a little to fast and a little backseat, and missed the landing, which was the takeoff to the second cliff and bounced on his butt down the rocks and slid down. He suffered a burst fracture at his L1 vertebra and had corrective sugary were they fussed T11 and T12. Currently Soren has no motor function and no sensation from his hips down.
Soren’s recovery goal is to get as much function back as possible and is wiling to work his hardest to do so. With High Fives’ help, he attends to multiple PT’s every day in order to reach his goal of gaining as much independence and increased quality of life through adaptive sports.
Trevor Kennison | Basalt, CO
Trevor was snowboarding in the backcountry on Vail Pass, when he hit a jump and caught an edge. While in the air, Trevor accidentally started rotating forward. Not wanting to land on his head, Trevor tucked forward and landed on his lower back. He was laying in the snow from 4:00pm to 7:00pm until the search and rescue team could extract him from the backcountry.
Trevor’s recovery goal is to eventually walk again, but while he is in a chair he wants to become the best adaptive Athlete that he can be.
Trevor routinely conquers any goal that he sets for himself. He is currently a member of the US Paralympic Development Alpine Race Team, and one of the “up-and-comers” on the scene. The sky is Trevor’s only limit.
Drew Stephens | Rapid City, SD
Drew is a T-12 paraplegic who sustained an injury falling off a chair lift while on duty as a ski patroller at a small mountain in the Black Hills of western South Dakota. As a result of the fall, not only did Drew receive an SCI, but also fractured ribs 8-12 on the right side, as well as both scapula.
Drew’s main recovery goal is to walk again, and each day has its own goals which will help to ensure progress. At this time, Drew has goals for home therapy and wants to find things that push his comfort zone and test his current abilities. Drew wants to seek out the environments and experiences that have provided him with an ever-changing perspective toward life.
Drew was a ski patroller and was hurt on duty. He attended CRAIG Hospital for therapy following his injury. There (Craig), he created many long-lasting friendships. With the help of High Fives, he plans to get back out on the mountain with former Craig patients Alyson Mallory and Justin Pines.
Scott Will | Lakewood, CO
Scott sustained a spinal cord in jury in January snowboarding at A-Basin in January of 2015. He was snowboarding with friends when he caught an edge, landed on his head and woke up at the base of a tree in the woods. Scott laid there for awhile until someone eventually found him, called ski patrol, and he was eventually flown to CRAIG Hospital where he was told that he sustained a complete T-12 spinal cord injury.
Even though Scott was originally diagnosed with a COMPLETE injury, he has been starting to regain function in his lower extremities. He is starting to walk with assisted devices, and he has been very motivated to work on his recovery.
He has already found the love for skiing in an adaptive fashion, and was recently introduced to biking.
Allyson Mallory |Englewood, CO
On December 23, 2016, Allyson was snowboarding at Area 51, Keystone’s snowboard park. After hitting an A frame rail, she set herself up to hit another feature which had two ramps connected by a rail. She hit the ramp with too much speed sending her into a backflip about 10 feet from the feature. Allyson landed directly on her back. The instant she hit the ground, she knew she was paralyzed. After the personnel at St. Anthony’s took MRIs and scans, this was confirmed with a dislocated spine and break at T12. Additionally, she had a broken rib. Allyson’s surgeon initially told her upon seeing the X-rays that she had severed her spinal cord, but once she had surgery to fuse four of her vertebrae, the doctor saw that her spinal cord was in fact not severed.
Allyson’s ultimate recovery goal is to walk again. According to her trauma doctor, she has a small chance of that happening. Aside from the long term goal of walking again, Allyson wants to get back to the sports that inspired her before her accident – skiing/snowboarding, wakeboarding, hiking, Crossfit and golf.
Justin Pines | Englewood, CO
After hitting a tree off the headwall lift at Squaw Valley, Justin dislocated his spine at T4/T5, sustaining a T4 fracture and T5 burst fracture. He also broke several ribs, fractured his sternum, and suffered a collapsed right lung.
The more time Justin spends with the High Fives community, the more opportunities come his way! His athletic goals are completing a century ride (100miles) on a hand bike, he recently completed a half-marathon in a racing chair in his pursuit of completing a full-marathon, and is working towards becoming fully independent on a mono-ski.
Justin was able to ski again at Squaw Valley last season following his injury, and he looks forward to achieving his goal of becoming an independent mono-skier when he joins Alyson Mallory and Drew Stephens in January at Winter Park.
Rosa Malloy-Post | Durango, CO
Rosa was involved in a rock climbing fall in May 2013 in Indian Creek, UT. The 40-foot fall left Rosa paralyzed from the waist down.
Following her injury, Rosa got heavily into skiing. She has been skiing a 1990’s Freedom Factory kid sized Mogul Master mono-ski that she has outgrown and now out performs the capabilities of the sit-ski. It’s time that she return it to the adaptive program so that she can progress her skiing on a more suitable rig.
Rosa came with a high recommendation from High Fives ambassador Alana Nichols, one of the best mono-skiers on the planet, and the new mono-ski for Rosa will truly help help her progress her skiing.
Megan Wemmer | Longmont, CO
While on a backcountry ski tour in the Arapahoe National Forrest with her boyfriend in February of 2015, Megan was searching for her glasses in the hut that they were staying the night in. Megan went to climb up to the second floor when the ladder gave out causing her to fall directly on her back from 12 feet in the air. The impact left Megan unable to move her lower extremities, and her boyfriend immediately hiked out of the wilderness and sent a rescue team to rescue Megan.
When Megan finally arrived at CRAIG Hospital in Englewood, CO, she was told that she had suffered a burst fracture at her L1 vertebrae and a dislocation of her T12 vertebrae leaving her completely paralyzed from the waist down.
Megan is a VERY goal oriented athlete and really wants to complete the backcountry trip that her and her boyfriend were on during the time of her accident.
Megan has attended the Women’s Adaptive Ski Camp in Crested Butte for two years now, and she has officially caught the “ski-bug.” She looks forward to returning to this year’s camp!
High Fives provided in September 2017, Entry into the Women’s Adaptive Ski Camp at Crested Butte
Josh Scanlon | Fraser, CO
Aug. 16 2004 Josh and his brother had a small trampoline set up seeing who you could do the highest flip over a tower they made. Josh tried to do a front flip, landed on his lower back, and was left paralyzed from the waist down. He is currently a T10 complete paraplegic.
Since his accident, Josh has been involved in basketball, skiing and track and field. He was a starter and helped his basketball team win 3 back to back national championships. He also got the privilege to represent team USA at Worlds for track and field in Switzerland.
Josh’s basketball career is behind him, and he now sets his sights on building a name in the adaptive ski world. He has packed up and moved to Winter Park for the season, and he plans on taking the Paralympic circuit by storm.
Molei Wright | Parker, CO
Molei and her boyfriend were driving up to the mountains when a semi-truck hit them. She was the worst injured – Doctors said she was internally decapitated (an AOD). The doctors gave her a less than 1% chance of survival. Luckily, an out-of-towner was passing by and he stopped, put his own life at risk (it was a snowy night on a mountain pass) and did CPR on her for 45 minutes! Because of the AOD, she’s now relearning how to walk/stand, swallow, breathe etc. She’s relearning EVERYTHING!
Molei wants to get back to living a normal life! She wants to ski, bike ride and hike, but her first goal is to live independently. She wants to move out of her parents house and live independently.
While working toward independent living, Molei plans to take a shot at skiing to see if it’s something that she would like to focus her energy, she loved skiing prior to her injury.
High Fives provided in September 2017: Adaptive Ski Lessons, Tickets, Rentals at BOEC
Jasmin Bambur | Granby, CO
Jasmine is a T9 Complete paraplegic following a car accident years ago. The car that he was driving, ejected him and dragged me for 200 yards. After that, the car rolled several times into a ditch. The injury was very severe and Jas knows how lucky he is to be alive.
Since his injury, Jasmin has joined the US Paralympic Ski Team as one of the most prolific members. His goal is to podium at the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.