BENEFITING: HIGH FIVES NONPROFIT FOUNDATION
EVENT DATE: Oct 19, 2014
My name's Matt, I'm 27 years old and I'm doing the Amsterdam marathon to raise money for High Fives Charity.
In November 2010, I had an accident on a night out in London, I fell 26 feet through a corrugated plastic roof onto my head! I was in a coma for 6 weeks and when I woke up I couldn't do anything, walk, talk, not much at all!
So after 3 and a half years of physiotherapy, rehabilitation and gym I think I'm actually stronger than before, just my balance isn't great (yet!) and I still have a bit of a limp (but hopefully that'll go too).
I always say I'm not "disabled", but I thought rather than just saying that, I should prove it! So I thought it doesn't get much tougher than a marathon, especially because I can't actually run yet!! I asked my friend Sam, who has done marathons and Ironman before, if there are any marathons without hills? Because if I'm going to do a marathon I don't want it to be any harder than it already is; he said Amsterdam is as "flat as a pancake", so I signed up! He said he'd also do it with me, though obviously at a slower pace than he normally does them!
The reason why I'm raising money for High Fives, is because for me, skiing really has been the number one motivation, I lived in Switzerland as a kid and qualified to teach skiing. Particularly a skier called CR Johnson who had a similar traumatic brain injury in a ski accident, but after a few years of rehab he actually got back to skiing. Tragically he died in another skiing accident. He really has been a huge inspiration for me with skiing. Two years ago Armada (a ski company) released a special Jacket in memory of CR, so my parents got it for me for Christmas, there was a word/acronym on the jacket I didn't really understand (ENEFCT) and I sent Armada an email to ask about it. We had a reply from Roy Tuscany (co-founder of High Fives) and we have been in touch ever since.
They do amazing things to help winter sports athletes who have suffered life altering injuries providing therapy and special equipment. More than that, they make life fun again for the athletes and enable them to try lots of cool stuff. When I visited them in Truckee,CA we did backflip training! They also run safety campaigns such as: 'Helmets are Cool' and BASICS (be aware safe in critical situations )
I just wanted to do this to prove that you can do most things if you really want to and to raise money for High Fives, an amazing charity! To help more people when they have a bit of bad luck!
Your donation would be kindly appreciated