The 2020 June Grant Cycle saw 15 NEW athletes, 13 returning for a total of over $58,700 funded!

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Introducing High Fives June 2020 Empowerment Grant recipients

High Fives is very proud of our returning Athletes that we will be continuing to support through their recovery and onto whatever goals and adventures that they can dream of.

Recovery and progression of one’s mind and body is a never-ending pursuit. These Athletes realize that setting goals and improving themselves is incredibly important. After one goal or adventure is complete you know that that goal is possible and then they find ways to become better with the experience and skill created.

High Fives believes that these  Athletes have and will continue to embody  our values and will always represent High Fives in amazing ways, and we cannot wait to see what they are able to accomplish next. 

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June 2020 Empowerment Grant Recipients

Jason Abraham

Jason Abraham | SCI C6

Alpine Meadows,CA 

JASON WAS SKIING AT SQUAW VALLEY WITH SOME LOCALS ON ONE OF THE ONLY POWDER DAYS OF 2015. JASON WAS TAKING PHOTOS OF THE SKIERS WHEN HE DECIDED HE’D TAKE A FREE SKI RUN ON MAIN CHUTE ON THE PALISADES. AFTER ENTERING THE CHUTE, JASON PICKED UP SPEED QUICKLY AND CAME OUT OF THE RUN WITH A LOT OF SPEED. TOWARD THE BOTTOM OF MAIN CHUTE JASON CAUGHT AN EDGE AND WAS PROJECTED ONTO HIS BACK. THE IMPACT RESULTED IN A BURST FRACTURED C6 VERTEBRAE CAUSING TEMPORARY PARALYSIS FROM THE SHOULDERS DOWN.

“YOU MISS 100% OF THE SHOTS YOU DON’T TAKE.”

High Fives is providing Jason with $1,800 for Healing Networks 

Austin Hunt | SCI C4

JEFFERSONVILLE, VT

AUSTIN SEVERELY FRACTURED HIS C4 VERTEBRAE DURING A DOWNHILL SKIING ACCIDENT AT JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT IN JACKSON, WY. HE ALSO HAD A PARTIALLY DISSECTED VERTIBRAL ARTERY THAT CLOSED OFF. THE ARTERY THEN OPENED UP AND CAUSED A PICA STROKE WHICH LEFT HIM WITH ADDITIONAL PARALYSIS IN HIS RIGHT SIDE. THE STROKE ALSO CAUSED DOUBLE VISION AND IMPAIRED HEARING IN HIS RIGHT SIDE.

I’M GONNA PUT THIS SETBACK IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR!”

High Fives Provided $1,120 to Austin for Adaptive Equipment 

Austin Hunt
Robby Knab

Robby Knab | SCI C5 

AMHERST, NY

ROB SUSTAINED A C5 SPINAL CORD INJURY SNOW SKATING AT SUPERPARK AT CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN IN SEATTLE WA.

MAY I FIND PEACE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF CHANGE. FAITH AND GRATITUDE.”

High Fives has provided Rob with $840 for Healing Networks

Rio Peterson | SCI C5

NEW MEADOWS, ID

RIO SUSTAINED A BURST FRACTURE AT C5 AS WELL AS FRACTURES AT C3, C4, C6, & C7.

THIS INJURY OCCURRED DURING A VARIABLE SNOW DAY AT SQUAW VALLEY. RIO WAS TRAVERSING UNDER HEADWALL CHAIRLIFT WHEN HE HIT A BUMP. A COMBINATION OF THE VARIABLE SNOW AND POOR REACTION CAUSED HIM TO EJECT FROM HIS SKIS. THE EJECTION THREW RIO HEAD FIRST INTO HARD PACK SNOW, CAUSING HIS INJURY.

“RULE NUMBER ONE: HAVE FUN’’

High Fives Provided Rio with $900 for Adaptive Equipment

Rio Peterson
Kirk Williams

Kirk Williams | SCI  C4-6 

LAFAYETTE, CO

KIRK WILLIAMS SUFFERED A C4-6 SPINAL CORD INJURY IN A MOUNTAIN BIKE CRASH IN 2009. HE NOW WORKS IN THE INDUSTRY AND HELPS OTHERS ON A DAILY BASIS.

KIRK REMAINS ACTIVE FOLLOWING HIS 2009 SCI, AND ENCOURAGES OTHERS IN THE ADAPTIVE COMMUNITY TO DO THE SAME. HE WANTS TO CONTINUE TRAVELING AND INSPIRING.

“IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME”

High Fives Provided Kirk With $2500 for Adaptive Equipment

JACKSON RACICOT | SCI C5

WHITEHALL, MONTANA

JACK WANTED TO TAKE A GIRL HE HAD RECENTLY BEEN SEEING ON A FUN DATE. HE TOOK HER TO THE MOUNTAIN FOR SOME AFTERNOON LAPS ON A BLUEBIRD DAY. UNFORTUNATELY, SOMETHING WENT VERY WRONG; JACK WAS DOING LAPS THROUGH THE TERRAIN PARK WHEN HIS BOARD CAME OUT FROM UNDER HIM, HE FELL, AND KNEW HE WAS INSTANTLY PARALYZED.

“IF YOU WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT STOP ACCEPTING WHAT YOU’RE USED TO”

High Fives provided Jack with $1700 for Adaptive Equpment 

Jack Racicot
Lizzy Ragan

Elizabeth Ragan | SCI T5

BEAVERCREEK, OR

WHILE ROCK CLIMBING WITH A FRIEND IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, WHEN ONLY 15 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND, HER FOOT SLIPPED AND SHE BEGAN TO FALL. A PENDULUM SWING OCCURRED, FLIPPING HER UPSIDE DOWN AND COMING DOWN ON HER HEAD ON AN ADDITIONAL 15 FEET TO THE ROCKS BELOW.

“NEVER SAY NEVER, BECAUSE LIMITS, LIKE FEARS, ARE OFTEN JUST AN ILLUSION”

High Fives provided Lizzy with $2,497 for Adaptive Equipment

Tyler Mckenzie | SCI C6-T1

Salt Lake City, UT 

ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 2017, THINGS COMPLETELY CHANGED FOR TYLER MCKENZIE.  TYLER AND HIS FRIENDS WERE PICKING THEIR WAY DOWN THE TRAVERSE, WHEN A SMALL WET SLIDE PUT HIM OFF BALANCE CARRYING HIM JUST OFF THE TRAIL, SPINNING HIM AROUND.

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH HOSPITAL, TYLER WAS DIAGNOSED WITH A COMPLEX BRACHIAL PLEXUS INJURY, AVULSING HIS LEFT SIDE NERVE ROOTS COMPLETELY FROM C6-T1 AMONGST OTHER BLUNT TRAUMA INJURIES. 

“NO ONE WOULD HAVE CROSSED THE OCEAN IF [THEY] COULD HAVE COULD HAVE GOTTEN OFF THE SHIP IN THE STORM.” CHARLES KETTERING

High Fives Provided Tyler with $1,140 for Healing Networks 

Tyler McKenzie
Luke Eckenberg

Luke Eckenberg| SCI T12

Truckee, CA

LUKE WAS SNOWBOARDING IN JANUARY OF 2011 AND HIT A JUMP TOO FAST. IMMEDIATELY AFTER TAKE OFF LUKE STARTED TIPPING BACKWARDS, MISSED THE LANDING AND FELL FLAT ON HIS BACK CAUSING A T-12/L1 SPINAL CORD INJURY. LUKE ALWAYS ENJOYED SNOWBOARDING, AND FOLLOWING HIS 2011 INJURY,  HE TAKES EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO GET BACK TO THE MOUNTAINS.

“PLUCK THE DAY LIKE A RIPE FRUIT AND ENJOY, FOR IT MAY BE YOUR LAST.”

High Fives provided Luke with $1,342 for Adaptive Equipment

Bryan Noonan | SCI L1

South Lake Tahoe,Ca

BRYAN WAS RIDING THE BACKSIDE AT NORTHSTAR WITH SOME FRIENDS AFTER DAYS OF GOOD SNOWFALL. WHEN HE BOOSTED AN OLLIE OFF A WIND-LIP AND STARTED FLOATING. THE BEST FEELING EVER, SOON FOLLOWED BY THE WORST. THE LANDING WAS BLIND FROM WHERE HE TOOK OFF AND WHEN HE POPPED OVER THE KNOLL HE REALIZED IT WAS AN OFF-CAMBER CAT-TRACK ABOUT 10-15FT WIDE. HE LANDED ON HIS TAILBONE ON THE ROCK HARD SNOW AND REALIZED HE WAS BADLY HURT, HE FELT NOTHING FROM HIS WAIST DOWN. ONCE HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL DOCTORS TOLD BRYAN HE SUSTAINED AN L1 SCI.

“TODAY I WILL GET STRONGER.”

High Fives Provided Bryan with a total of $2,255 For Healing networks and insurance 

Bryan Noonan
Ajay Shenoy

AJAY SHENOY | SCI C5

SAN JOSE, CA

AJAY SUSTAINED A C5 BURST FRACTURE DIVING INTO A SHALLOW CREEK IN BOULDER, COLORADO.

“WE CANNOT CHANGE THE CARDS WE ARE DEALT, JUST HOW WE PLAY THE HAND.” -RANDY PAUSCH

High Fives provided Ajay with $2,500 for Healing Network

Sophie Coudurier | SCI T6

Reno,NV

SOPHIE COUDURIER WAS SKIING AT MT. ROSE SKI RESORT IN RENO, NV WHEN SHE WAS HIT BY ANOTHER SKIER. SHE SUSTAINED A SPINAL CORD INJURY AT THE T6 LEVEL.

HER LONG-TERM GOALS OF RECOVERY INCLUDE: DOING THE MANY ACTIVITIES SHE LOVES TO DO SUCH AS WHEELCHAIR TENNIS, EXPLORING THE WORLD AROUND HER INDEPENDENTLY, AND HELPING PEOPLE THROUGH EDUCATION.

SOPHIE PLANS TO CONTINUE TO ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST, MAINTAIN THE MUSCLE TONE BELOW HER INJURY LEVEL, AND REGAIN AS MUCH FUNCTION AS POSSIBLE.

High Fives Provided Sophie with $950 for Adaptive Equipment

Sophie Coudurier
Trevor Kennison

Trevor Kennison| SCI T12

Winter Park, 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 4:00 PM TO 7:00 PM UNTIL THE SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM COULD EXTRACT HIM FROM THE BACKCOUNTRY.

“DON’T EVER GIVE UP OR STOP DOING WHAT YOU LOVE.”

High Fives provided Trevor with $2,500 For Adaptive Equipment 

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Jason Abraham
Austin Hunt
Rob Knab
Rio Peterson
Kirk Willliams
Jack Racicot
Lizzy Ragan
Tyler Mckenzie
Luke Eckenberg
Bryan Noonan
Ajay Shenoy
Sophie Coudurier
Trevor Kennison