High Fives and Helping Athletes' Lives

Have you ever jumped off of something and felt that inner desire to be able to fly? Whether it be dunking a Nerf basketball on your closet door basketball hoop or BASE-Jumping in another country we have all felt firsthand the joy of flight. Seemingly an inherent desire in the human DNA taking to the air is inexplicably something we are drawn to.

In the winter action sports community (formerly considered EXTREME Sports Community) there are many sports that cater to this desire to fly. Skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling are excellent cross sections of this community. Each sport respectively continues to raise the bar in terms of what is possible in the air.

From record breaking jumps to yoga-style acrobatics in the air, the progression of each of these sports appears to be without a ceiling.

Vermont native and former professional skier, Roy Tuscany fit the mold of a typical rising star in the winter action sports community. Sponsors, travel and photo shoots were the daily cup of tea for Roy. On April 29, 2006 Roy awoke early to get the best photographic lighting to capture a shot for his sponsors at Mammoth Mountain, CA.

The part of the industry that is hidden from over exposure due to its inherent ugliness is the risk involved. Countless athletes take calculated risks day in and day out to make a modest (usually less than modest) pay check, to appease sponsors and to gain exposure.

Roy Tuscany took a calculated risk that fateful morning and decided to hit an icy ski jump in the Mammoth terrain park.

What happened next was something that parents have nightmares about and athletes try to block out of their minds when performing:

Roy says..."I suffered a devastating spinal cord injury while training in Mammoth Mountain, CA, rendering my lower body paralyzed immediately after the accident. After having high hopes of becoming a world class professional skier, I then had to relearn everything in my life from the ground up. A truly life-altering experience, I eventually began making great progress. With the help of strong personalities, positivity, and high fives all around me, I stepped into skis and loaded the lift at Sugar Bowl for the first time in March of 2008. The encouragement and positivity I received during my recovery inspired me to start a foundation to help others with similar experiences."

The recovery process for Roy would not have been the same without friends, family members and strangers alike uniting to help raise funds to get him back to the mountains.

A single action (read: A HIGH FIVE) from the nurses and doctors in the hospital Roy was treated at, helped him remain optimisitic that life would be okay and that hope was not lost.

High Fives Non-Profit Foundation based in Truckee, CA became an official 501c.3 non-profit on January 19, 2010. Founded by Roy Tuscany, the Tahoe based organization is dedicated to raising money and awareness for athletes that have suffered a life altering injury while pursuing their dream in the winter action sports community.

Within the past year High Fives has not only grown at rate that exceeded all expectations, but has also successfully raised funds, secured alternative treatments and aided in the recovery of over fifteen athletes. It is a dream come true to help these people and many more.

It is the mission of High Fives to continue to grow and become a nation-wide organization that effectively acts as an umbrella for those that participate (and get hurt) in the sports we love so dearly.

To learn more about High Fives Non-Profit Foundation, the amazing stories of the athletes it helps and to donate please visit www.highfivesfoundation.org.

Thank you and HIGH FIVE!