Slay it Forward

How the High Fives Foundation turns misfortune into mojo.


On a spring day in 2006, aspiring-pro skier Roy Tuscany overshot a massive booter on Mammoth Mountain by 30 feet, breaking his back and severely injuring his spinal cord. The doctors said he’d never walk again.

Five years later, he’s back on skis and at the helm of High Fives, a nonprofit that raises money and awareness for athletes who’ve been seriously hurt while pursuing dreams in the winter action sports . “I was surrounded by such a great community here in Tahoe after my accident and thought the best way to pay it forward was to start a foundation that would help others,” says Tuscany. In 2010, he officially launched High Fives.

With 15 athletes currently on its roster, the organization has grown quickly, and in June of this year, High Fives moved into a new home, the C.R. Johnson Healing Center, named after the late great freeskier. “We want to create an environment where people who have suffered a life-altering injury can go and be surrounded by a positive network and by others who know what they’re going through,” Tuscany says.

To support High Fives, visit