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Westport Woman Receives Foundation Grant After Life-Altering Bike Injury

The High Fives Foundation is awarding 24-year-old Westport resident Lindsay Runkel a second board-approved Empowerment Grant to help aid in her recovery from a life-altering injury she suffered while mountain biking Oct. 5.
The High Fives Foundation is awarding 24-year-old Westport resident Lindsay Runkel a second board-approved Empowerment Grant to help aid in her recovery from a life-altering injury she suffered while mountain biking Oct. 5. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. -- The High Fives Foundation is awarding 24-year-old Westport resident Lindsay Runkel a second board-approved Empowerment Grant to help aid in her recovery from a life-altering injury she suffered while mountain biking.

In October 2014, Runkel was attempting a 15-foot drop on her bike when she landed too far forward and was thrown from the handle bars. She suffered a spinal cord injury that caused paralysis below her waist.

Since the injury, she has been intensively rehabilitating toward her goal of walking and returning to her favorite outdoor activities, most recently surfing with the High Fives Foundation in New Jersey this summer.

Earlier in 2015, the High Fives Foundation provided Runkel a grant for Functional Electrical Stimulation at Journey Forward in Canton, Mass. to increase her muscle mass and fitness, sensation and motion. Now, exactly one year from the date of her injury, Runkel has recovered to a point where she has returned to the mountain biking community.

High Fives provided her the grant for a Sport-On X3 Adaptive Mountain Bike, a three-wheeled, hand-propelled cycle designed for trail riding for adaptive athletes.

"I am rediscovering my love for the trails, but in an 'adaptive' fashion," said Runkel. "I am beyond excited to share this love with my friends and the mountain biking community."

"Lindsey's positivity is fueling her recovery 100 percent," said Roy Tuscany, High Fives Foundation executive director. "You can see from her posts on her social media accounts that she's truly making huge gains and always with a smile."

Since the foundation's inception in January 2009, the Empowerment Program Service has assisted 89 athletes from 20 states.

For more information on the foundation, go here .

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