‘Spinal Injuries Suck’: A Look Into the High Fives Foundation
GoPro for a Cause and Kindhumans team up with the non-profit High Fives Foundation to release an inspiring video featuring adaptive skiers Roy Tuscany and Trevor Kennison. The results are positively infectious. The following words are by Becca Lefanowicz, Operations and Media Manager for the High Fives Foundation.
Accidents happen. But anyone who participates in a sport knows the risks. Whether it is skiing, snowboarding, climbing or riding a bike, there is always potential for injury. Heck, an accident can happen just crossing the street. What matters the most is how one moves forward from a setback and the attitude that comes with it. Nobody knows this better than Roy Tuscany and Trevor Kennison.
In 2006, Roy was in a skiing accident in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., resulting in a spinal cord injury. Through his recovery, he was lucky to be surrounded by incredible resources to help him heal and eventually get back on skis. He soon realized that others out there, athletes just like him, weren’t so lucky. He made it his life goal to change that, and the High Fives Foundation was born.
Since its inception in 2009, the High Fives Foundation has helped more than 265 injured individuals and veterans from 36 states with their recoveries. While the Foundation primarily focuses on education around outdoor action sports to prevent accidents from happening, they also provide resources and aid for when they do, which is how Trevor got involved.
Trevor became a High Fives athlete after suffering from a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. His accident happened while snowboarding in the Colorado backcountry when he launched off a kicker and landed on his back. Not only was the experience a traumatic one, but his road to recovery was long and hard.
Once Trevor connected with High Fives and started skiing with Roy, his attitude changed. Pretty soon, Trevor became one of the most inspiring faces of adaptive skiing and started doing impossible things on a monoski like hucking backflips and jumping cornices.
“It means the world to me, to show what Roy has created, not only for me, but for so many other athletes who have suffered a life-altering injury,” Trevor says. “It’s a new life, a different life and it’s amazing getting to share my story. I’m just like you, but seeing the world sitting down, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
GoPro and High Fives have had a strong partnership since 2011 and realized they needed to spread this positivity far and wide. This sparked the idea for a video featuring Roy and Trevor, the most inspiring adaptive skiers in the industry, and the result, powered by Kindhumans, speaks for itself.
“To have our partnership with GoPro grow to this level really shows that one of the highest-recognized brands in the outdoor industry believes in the High Fives mission,” Roy says.
And High Fives Foundation is not slowing down anytime soon; and neither are Roy or Trevor for that matter. The Foundation continues to grow, hosting adaptive camps, helping and mentoring athletes nationwide with recovery and educating the youth. Meanwhile, Trevor keeps pushing boundaries for what is possible in a sit-ski and is training for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
These two prove that even though “spinal injuries suck,” the beauty is in the attitude. If you’d like to join GoPro and Kindhumans in supporting the High Fives Foundation, share this story and consider making a donation here. Learn more at kindhumans.com.