High Fives Awards Empowerment Grants

Tahoe residents with life-altering injuries receive support from non-profit organization

High Fives Athlete Jason Abraham skiing with Achieve Tahoe for the first time following his 2015 spinal cord injury. Photo: Chris Bartowski

The High Fives Foundation is awarding Tahoe residents Taylor Fiddyment, Jason Abraham and Jeff Andrews board-approved Empowerment Grants totaling $14,820 to aid in their respective recoveries.

Truckee resident Taylor Fiddyment was injured while riding a four-wheeler with friends in May 2011. Fiddyment’s goals have remained the same since entering the world of spinal cord injury recovery – to be the best person she can be, and spread joy and positivity to others. “My recovery goal is to be strong in body and mind,” said Fiddyment. “I want to make other people’s down days better.”

Fiddyment received a grant for $4,560 to be used toward massage and chiropractic work to pair with her personal training at the CR Johnson Healing Center – program service of the High Fives Foundation.

Alpine Meadows resident, Jason Abraham was skiing at Squaw Valley on one of the only powder days of the year in April 2015. He decided he’d take a free ski run on Main Chute on the Palisades. Toward the bottom of Main Chute, Jason caught an edge and was propelled onto his back. The impact resulted in the burst fracture of his C6 vertebrae, causing temporary paralysis from the shoulders down.

“My recovery goal is to become as independent as possible through diet and exercise,” said Abraham. “But my ultimate goals are to be the best father and husband I can be, and to watch my son Ebbett have a blast out on the hill with friends.”

Abraham received $2,200 in grant funding from the High Fives Foundation to be used toward massage at the CR Johnson Healing Center along with a new custom fit wheelchair back.

“Jason is a model High Fives Athlete,” said Roy Tuscany, High Fives Foundation Executive Director. “He’s positive, he’s highly motivated, and we’re proud to support him in all of his goals.”

Jeff Andrews from Truckee is receiving his sixth grant from the Foundation following a 2014 spinal cord injury sustained in a snowboarding accident at Sugarbowl Resort in Norden, Calif.

The $8,060 will be used for two months of Neuro Kinetic Pilates at Body Wellness Hawaii in Maui, Hawaii. Andrews has previously worked with Alejandra Monsalve and the team at Body Wellness Hawaii and experienced tremendous gains from the Neuro Kinetic Pilates method.

The High Fives Foundation supports injured mountain sports athletes through grant funding to be used towards reaching their recovery goals. Since the High Fives Foundation’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment program service has assisted 146 athletes from 27 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 January 2017 the High Fives Foundation disbursed $35,005.50 in board-approved grants to 10 athletes in 5 states.

Truckee resident Taylor Fiddyment enjoying an adaptive rock climbing event put on by the High Fives Foundation. Photo: Chris Bartowski

Jeff Andrews and High Fives Founder Roy Tuscany sharing a congratulatory high five following Andrews’ big win at Duke’s OceanFest in Waikiki this past Summer. Photo: Trevor Clark


The High Fives Foundation is a Tahoe-based, national 501.c.3 non-profit organization. The High Fives Foundation supports the dreams of mountain action sports athletes by raising injury prevention awareness while providing resources and inspiration to those who suffer life-altering injuries. Formed as a way to “pay-it-forward” by the founder from his own recovery to help injured athletes, the Foundation has helped 146 athletes to date since its inception in 2009. For more information visit highfivesfoundation.org.

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