In December 2012, Vermont native and Max Elles was in a snowboarding accident that caused a burst fracture to his L1 vertebrae, resulting in partial paralysis in his lower extremities. Elles got injured while snowboarding at Killington, when he hit a hidden water bar, causing him to fall directly on his back. Elles was flown to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.
In August, Elles was awarded a grant of nearly $4,000 to aid in his recovery by utilizing non-traditional therapies in the Burlington area.
Immediately following his 2012 injury, Elles was taken under the wing of the High Fives Foundation of Truckee, Calif., whose Winter Empowerment Program disburses board-approved grants to winter action sports athletes who are recovering from a life-altering injury.
The August award marks the fifth board-approved grant that Elles has received since becoming a High Fives Athlete in February 2013, according to a Sept. 25 release.
To date he has received $12,051 in grant funding from High Fives.
With the Foundation’s assistance, Max has poured all of his efforts into his recovery. Along with daily physical therapy and training, he has made significant gains through Vermont service providers in acupuncture, massage, structural integration, yoga and Reiki. With the encouraging results that Max has experienced over the last two years, he has set the goal of competing in the Winter X-Games for Boardercross.
“As a professional snowboarder prior to his injury, Max has the drive and work ethic to achieve his lofty goal, and the High Fives Foundation plans to be there every step of the way,” said High Fives Foundation co-founder Roy Tuscany. “I am pleased High Fives and its board are also working hard to help Max accomplish his goal of returning to snowboarding at a professional level.”
In August 2014 the High Fives Foundation also dispersed awards to ack Trottier of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts and Jeff Andrews of Truckee, California.