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Spencer’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated on Spencer's progress as he recovers from a snowboarding accident that left him paralyzed at age thirteen.  Visit often to read the latest journal entries and write us a message in our guestbook.

Spencer had a serious snowboarding accident at Brighton, Utah on Monday, February 1, 2010. He suffered a severe spinal cord injury. He broke both his C4 and C5 vertebrae.  Spencer was airlifted off of the mountain to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the hospital, Spencer was intubated and put on a ventilator because he was unable to breathe on his own. Spencer could not feel the needles doctors poked him with to check for sensation. He was paralyzed and could move only his left forearm voluntarily. Doctors gave a grim prognosis; Spencer may never breathe on his own, and would likely never recover sensation or movement. 

Spencer was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident which likely saved him from brain injury or worse. The accident occurred on a bright sunny day on a "cat track" used between runs and not on a steep or difficult run. A trick of light concealed a bump and by the time Spencer saw the bump it was too late to stop and he caught an edge of the board and was catapulted head first into a rock-hard snowbank.  We have been overwhelmed at the generosity, love and support we have received from friends, family and strangers. 

Years later, Spencer is proving doctors wrong and making a stupendous recovery. He has sensation and movement in almost every part of his body, he can write with his left hand, push his own wheelchair, stand and take unassisted steps. He works harder than most athletes to recover what many people take for granted: mobility and independence. He is now going to college at USC on a Swim With Mike scholarship and studying chemical engineering, a dream come true. 

Spencer's progress is a direct result of the four physical therapy sessions and one hand therapy session per week he had for the first four years after the accident. At college, his therapy has been reduced to two long sessions per week. These therapies are vital for Spencer to make neurological connections and continued progress towards independent living.  

Expenses for rehabilitation, hand therapy, and medical equipment are not covered by insurance and exceed $20,000 a year.  Spencer raises funds from the community through HelpHOPELive, in part because HelpHOPELive provides both tax-deductibility and fiscal accountability to contributors. Contributors can be sure that funds contributed will be used only to pay or reimburse medically-related expenses. To make a contribution to Spencer's fundraising campaign:

Make checks payable to:

Note in memo section:In Honor of Spencer Fox

Mail to:HelpHOPELiveTwo Radnor Corporate Center100 Matsonford Road, Suite 100Radnor, PA 19087

For secure credit card donations: Call 800-642-8399 or go to HelpHOPELive.org, enter Patient Name Spencer Fox, and click the "DONATE NOW" button.

For more information, please contact HelpHOPELive at 800-642-8399.

Thanks for your support!

Latest Journal Update

College Days - Thanks to Swim With Mike


Spencer is only eight weeks away from completing his freshman year of college. Time flies! He is enjoying this semester of all math and science classes and he is more persuaded than ever that chemical engineering is the right field for him. He has landed a great summer internship in the lab of a Rancho Bernardo company called BST Nano Carbon. BST combines nano carbon materials and advanced composite manufacturing and design to make better products for many companies, especially in the sports equipment area. Spencer will be able to work directly with one of the scientists at BST and he is very excited for the opportunity to learn about carbon nanotubes and the chemical engineering field. It is very rewarding to see Spencer so happy and excited about his future. 

The photo was taken when Spencer was home for spring break with his brother Dane and sister Ruby. 


Spencer would not be able to attend college without the Swim With Mike (SWM) scholarship program. SWM has helped so many of our friends. Check out this one-minute film clip of some SWM scholars, including Spencer, explaining what SWM means to them as they commit to raise funds for SWM's 35th year.  


This important scholarship fund needs your support now. SWM is the only program of its kind in the nation. Last year for the first time ever SWM had to turn away qualified applicants due to lack of resources. Spencer and the other SWM scholars are committed to raising funds to support this life-changing program. 

SWM's mission is to provide financial resources for advanced education that paves the way for physically challenged athletes to overcome their tragedies and realize their full potential. SWM relies on the generosity of individuals and businesses for support. Without donations from generous people like you, SWM would not be able to continue providing scholarships to young athletes challenged by paralysis, amputation and blindness who need an education to give them back a competitive edge. 

Spencer has pledged to be in the pool at both the USC and UCSD events. Please sponsor Spencer's swim and support SWM now by clicking on the link below. Every donation counts! 


The SWM scholarship fund originated at USC, but SWM has provided a total of 178 scholarships to students at 85 colleges and universities nationwide. All donations are tax deductible. 

The main USC SWM event will be held April 11 at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Satellite events are held at several additional campuses, including the May 2nd event at UC San Diego’s Canyonview Aquatics Center. 

Please come on out and join the fun! And thank you for supporting Spencer and SWM.