Boulder resident Megan Wemmer receives Empowerment Grant from Lake Tahoe-based High Fives Foundation towards recovery from life-altering injury

$12,326 Empowerment Grant to provide Wemmer personal training, adaptive modifications for her home and adaptive fitness equipment


The High Fives Foundation is awarding 33-year-old Megan Wemmer an Empowerment Grant to help aid in her recovery from a life-altering injury. While on a backcountry ski tour in the Arapahoe National Forrest with her boyfriend in February, Wemmer was searching for her glasses in the hut in which they were staying. Wemmer 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 her unable to move her lower extremities. Her boyfriend immediately hiked out of the wilderness and sent a rescue team to extract Wemmer from the hut. When she arrived at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo. she was told 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.


The April Empowerment Grant from the High Fives Foundation will provide Wemmer with some of the adaptive modifications necessary to navigate life from a wheel chair; a portable tub transfer, bench/commode chair and hand controls to allow her to drive her car independently. The grant will also provide her with 20 sessions of personal training at the PEAK Center and a high performance hand cycle. Wemmer is working very hard to condition her upper body so she can remain as active as she was prior to her injury.


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 from Boulder, Colo.


  1. Way to go Megan! Your effort to recover from your injury has been an inspiration to others at Craig Hospital. Megan always has a smile and an attitude that is contagious among her peers. Thanks, High Fives Foundation, for your support in helping Megan as she moves to outpatient rehabilitation and beyond!

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