The Vail Valley Charitable Basis is internet hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 14, to boost cash for Brian Biggs, a 23-year-old Eagle County native who severely injured his spinal cord throughout a rafting journey in June 2022, leaving him with quadriplegia.
Biggs grew up within the valley and graduated from Battle Mountain Excessive Faculty in 2017. Nicknamed “BryFly” by his family and friends, he’s a lifelong mountain man with a ardour for the numerous outside actions of the valley, together with rafting, fly fishing, searching and snowboarding.
“I began snowboarding as quickly as I might stroll, principally snowboarding in diapers,” Biggs mentioned. “Our home all the time backed as much as some form of forest or open house, so I simply grew up operating across the woods and doing numerous issues like constructing forts, squirrel searching.”
Biggs was additionally in diapers when he began occurring rafting journeys along with his household, a interest that he continued to pursue on his personal and with associates as an grownup.
“We’ve all the time been actually into rafting, whether or not it’s white water or simply mellow floats,” Biggs mentioned. “Yearly we’d do not less than one week-long expedition on some river, whether or not it’s in Utah or Colorado. That was type of our household factor.”
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This previous June, Biggs deliberate a rafting journey with a dozen associates down Cataract Canyon, simply north of Lake Powell. They’d simply accomplished a 15-mile part of rapids and pulled right into a small campsite to relaxation for the day, when Biggs mentioned he dove off of a sandbar into water that was solely 3 ft deep.
“I open my eyes underwater, and I’m floating to the highest, and after I get to the highest I am going to roll over or rise up, and I simply can’t do it,” Biggs mentioned. “Nothing’s working, and I’m simply type of floating there.”
Biggs had suffered a C5 spinal cord injury, which resulted in paralysis in all 4 of his limbs, together with restricted use of his arms and arms. His youthful brother Eric pulled him out of the water and the group was rapidly in a position to name assist by way of satellite tv for pc cellphone.
A helicopter evacuated him from the location inside an hour of the injury and Biggs was handled at St. Mary’s Hospital in Glenwood Springs. He then spent 4 months in rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, one of many world’s main analysis hospitals in spinal cord accidents.
Biggs is now again dwelling along with his mother and father in EagleVail, finishing his senior yr at Montana State College on-line, and the household is in search of funding to assist help the tools and modifications wanted to assist him regain his independence and be snug in his atmosphere. These embrace including an ADA-accessible bed room and toilet on the primary flooring — Biggs is at present residing of their lounge — buying a van with wheelchair accessibility and financing caretakers, amongst different wants.
The household can also be hoping to buy an Motion Trackchair all-terrain wheelchair that might allow Biggs to take his chair out on mountain trails and thru snow, permitting him to as soon as once more transfer independently within the outdoor.
“It’s simply looking for the cash to get him again to some form of regular life,” mentioned Brent Biggs, Brian’s father. “The fundraiser is to get all of this adaptive tools, and likewise to offer him his personal personal room as a substitute of dwelling in our eating room. Hopefully, as time goes on, he’ll get stronger and transfer again to Montana, which is his objective.”
Biggs is approaching his new actuality with tenacity and has already been medically cleared for adaptive snowboarding and diving alternatives, one of many many ways in which he plans to get again into his favourite actions this yr.
“Probably the most encouraging factor up to now is the progress that I’ve made and the way rather more motion I have already got in my arms, the power I’ve gotten,” Biggs mentioned. “It’s additionally simply encouraging to see how many individuals have come to assist out, all of my associates that assist out, and the way excited all these persons are for me to get again to doing the issues I like to do.”
The “Go Biggs for BryFly” fundraiser will happen on the EagleVail pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 14 from 5-8:30 p.m. and can embrace a silent public sale, reside music from the band Smörgåsgrass, appetizers and two drinks per individual. The urged donation is $35 per individual.
Particular person donations can be made immediately on-line at coloradogives.org/donate/vvcf, or by writing “Brian Biggs” on the memo line of a test payable to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, P.O. Field 2307, Edwards CO, 81632.
The Vail Valley Charitable Basis can also be in search of donations for the silent public sale. Anybody all for contributing to the public sale can contact govt director Brooke Skjonsby at email@example.com.
“The Vail Valley neighborhood has simply been superb,” Brent Biggs mentioned. “Our buddy community and individuals who don’t even know us are providing assist. With the development technique of the addition, everyone seems to be simply chipping in and making an attempt to assist do it at a decrease price, they’re displaying up and getting over right here to see that this strikes alongside rapidly. The outpouring from the neighborhood has simply been overwhelming.”