Testimonials

Hear from other alpine professionals who have received financial support from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation.


  • Phurba Namgyal Sherpa

    "Without Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation’s help I wouldn’t have got my knee treated at Steadman Clinic. I got the surgery very soon after my injury. Helping my accommodation and flights beside medical expenses has helped me a lot. I would have never paid myself and I had problem with my insurance company. I didn’t find a word to explain the Foundations help and thank for it. I am so lucky to get back to my profession. Hope to finish my ski education in the future."
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  • Joanna Morello

    "I cannot express how much I appreciate the help I have received from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. I tore my ACL and was not sure when I would be able to return to ski instructing. The foundation gave me the financial support I needed to have knee surgery and paid for my rehabilitation. Without this support I would not be able to do what I love again so soon after my injury. This foundation is truly one of a kind, I am so thankful for what they have done for me."
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  • Vicky Price

    "Having the funding and support of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has benefited me immeasurably. Without it I would have had to have my surgery through the NHS (National Health Service) where the waitlist was roughly 18 weeks, meaning that my knee would have deteriorated further and my return to work/skiing would be greatly delayed. I would also have to have had the hamstring graft which I really felt was not right for me and carried greater risks for returning to skiing."
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  • Kim Richardson

    "Without the help and support from everyone at the Kees Brenninkmeyer foundation, I doubt I would be returning to my career as a ski instructor this winter. They have ensured that I received all the treatment I felt I needed this year and the efficiency and communication has been unbelievable! The cause and generosity of this special foundation is one of a kind, and I will forever be thankful to them for helping me get back on skis!"
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  • Demi Rann

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation were incredible. I definitely would not be where I am today, if it weren't for the assistance that they provided. I was rejected by my travel insurance as the injury was sustained during work, and my work insurance was not 100% reliable. The largest benefit the Foundation provided was the ability to continue my season in Japan, see an amazing physio at no cost to me once a week, which allowed me to get back on skis within 3 weeks. I was able to book a surgeon close to home, who I was comfortable with, and recover in the comfort of my family's home. I was able to see another incredible physio also with no cost to me, until my departure to Canada. I can't imagine the additional stress and financial burden that would have put on me and my family if I had not been supported by the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, and I am forever grateful."
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  • Patricia Morrison

    "For years, I experienced the decline of my right knee. Started doing less of the things I love, because of pain. After previous knee surgeries, it was inevitable that I needed a replacement. I had a lot of fear surrounding the surgery, and then found out about the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. Now I am saying the classic, “that I wished I had got it done sooner”. I am so happy and pleased to say that my knee feels great. I have returned to work in full capacity, and am exceptionally excited about winter this year. Got my life back!"
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  • Michael Lukens

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation helped to take a lot of the stress out of figuring out how to pay for my surgery and were also amazing at keeping in contact and providing encouragement. Without the support of the foundation, I would have had to make some hard decisions about physical therapy and other after surgery support."
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  • Solveig Waterfall

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has been instrumental in keeping me in the business of ski and mountain guiding. After sustaining a career threatening injury, with their support, I was able to focus on recovery and training, without excessive worry about the financial burden of being temporarily disabled and unemployed. I was able to work with an incredible physical therapist which got me back to work as soon as safely possible. I'm forever grateful to the foundation for their support and am so thankful that our community has an organization like the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation that is dedicated to help keep us active and healthy."
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  • Karen Bockel

    "I am so deeply thankful that I received this generous opportunity through the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. This is my best chance at skiing and guiding again and completing my childhood dream – it’s my life and my livelihood! I can’t express how much it means to me to have had the support from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for this long and difficult road. I hope to be back on the ski mountain this winter, and guide in the Alpine next summer. I still have to work diligently to continue the recovery process, but I am hopeful that this time, I’ll get back to the mountains with more strength and less pain, and a good plan to stay healthy out there. "
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  • Heidi Wirtz

    "I am so grateful that I was offered assistance from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. When I found out that I needed shoulder surgery I wanted to go to the best surgeon as my career depends on my shoulders working. My insurance would not have covered any of my surgery and only minimal physical therapy. It was amazing to get the best services possible with the best surgeon and 6 months of physical therapy all covered by the foundation. Almost mind blowing that this was all given to me and that I am now back to climbing and guiding at near full strength without any pain. I cannot thank the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation and The Steadman Clinic enough for giving me back my career and my passion. "
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  • Zahan Billimoria

    "My connection to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation came at a critical time when I had run out of options. Local doctors favored a more aggressive approach which might have set me back further. The Steadman Clinic surgeon's expertise and experience was essential in coming up with a solution that would allow me to continue my career and pursuing my passion in the mountains. Without the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, none of that would have been possible. The staff worked hard with very little time to process my application and took care of all the details. I am so grateful for the opportunity they gave me."
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  • William Sim

    "To pay for the operation out of my own pocket would have made a serious impact on my year's finances and therefore climbing, skiing, and working plans. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation made it much easier for me to make the decision to get the metal removed early and therefore reduce damage and implications on my knee and hip from skiing and climbing for longer with the metal still in. I can't thank the foundation enough!"
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  • Vince Anderson

    "My acceptance by the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for financial assistance enabled my broken collarbone repair at the Steadman Clinic in Vail Colorado. The care I received and the quality of service provided by the Steadman Clinic was top notch! I’ve had previous orthopedic surgeries and have always been happy with it, though the way they went about their business at the Steadman Clinic raised the bar! I would not have been fortunate enough to receive care there were it not for the generosity extended by the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. I’ve had complete recovery and after breaking a collarbone into several pieces, I was able to get right back to work (with NO lingering problems) just 8 weeks after my surgery! I was back, guiding Denali carrying my normal 100 lb. load and the collarbone was not a problem. Thanks so much to the Steadman Clinic! As I said, this incredible care was possible for me only because of the assistance of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. In addition to their unbelievable generosity, they were eager to help me out and extremely easy to work with. If you’re like me, you may have numerous revenues streams from various guiding and instructional work AND bookkeeping is not something that is in my wheelhouse. They made it incredibly easy for me to apply and let me know exactly what information they needed to process my application. It all took just a few days to complete. They could not have been better about prompt response and patience with my application challenges. I received their financial assistance seemingly immediately. They were so great! I’m deeply indebted to their gratitude and will be forever thankful for their help in getting my career back on track in a hurry after what could have been a lengthy if not permanent derailment. "
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  • Lawrence Matthewman

    "The level of generosity, that the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation have demonstrated, for myself and so many others, is truly outstanding."
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  • Paul Swail

    "A huge thanks to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for the financial support, without which I know I wouldn't have been able to give it the time and focus it needed to repair, but also would have made it more difficult for me to earn a living to support my family, for a considerably longer period of time. "
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  • Namgya Sherpa

    "First of all, I would like to express my huge thanks to Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for kind and valuable support. I certainly would not be able to get back to my guiding job which is only my biggest income resource for my entire family. I am heading back to climb Everest again in less than two weeks and extremely excited. I have printed a small banner of Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation logo which I am hoping to take a photo on top of the world’s highest Mt. Everest within the next 6-7 weeks, I certainly will keep posted on my progress…Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! "
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  • Lee Anne Patterson

    "Without the support of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation I don't know that I would be returning to my ski guiding career. My story begins with a traumatic mountain bike crash, October 22, 2016 that destroyed my right shoulder. I was treated in the emergency department for a dislocated shoulder but referred to a surgeon immediately. After my first consultation with an orthopedic surgeon, they suggested I do 6 weeks of rehab but didn't request an MRI. I feel silly now that I didn't force the issue but I wanted to believe in the experts and so I worked diligently at my rehab with no real relief. After 6 weeks I finally managed to have an MRI which showed that I had a complete tear of the supraspinatus as well as a bicep tendon issue. With this information the surgeon was still unwilling to operate on me until I had full range of movement, however this was impossible for me to achieve because of the extent of damage from the accident. From my own research I learned that the longer I waited for surgery the less chance I had for a successful surgical outcome. By this point it was the end of January and I was totally depressed, I was unable to work, was having difficulty with sleeping because of pain and was not able to function in normal daily life activities. That's when a friend who had gone through a similar situation suggested I try the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. From that moment forward everything about my experience was 180 degrees. The process moved so quickly and it was like a dream come true. Having been a pro skier, I knew of The Steadman Clinic by its amazing reputation and at that point I knew everything was going to be ok. I picked Dr. Peter J. Millett, he is famous for his expertise with shoulders and is also just a really nice guy! It is 8 months post op for me now and I am 100%. I'm rock climbing and mountain biking as good as before the accident and ready to return to ski guiding. Without the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation none of this would be possible, I am forever grateful."
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  • Paul Rachele

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation turned my career-threatening injury into a road bump. For a full-time mountain guide, being broken is difficult enough without having to balance financial pressure with time spent recovering. Support from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation provided me with the resources to focus on the long, painful and exhausting healing process and ensured I received the best care for my body."
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  • Richard Marshall

    "In Canada, I was placed on a 15 month waiting list. Although it would not have cost me any of my own funding, that was pretty unacceptable as far as my own health and welfare. Symptoms were rapidly getting worse. This was quite depressing. I would end up missing 2 seasons of guiding if I waited for the Canadian surgery dates, not to mention a huge change in lifestyle and also financial implications. My friend and guiding peer, Evan Stevens, told me about the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. He had used the foundation to help him fast track a knee operation during a previous winter. Within just a few weeks of completing my application and receiving a determination, I went through with a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Procedure in Seattle Washington. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation was always there with any questions and direction that I needed, which was great. Thank you very much!! It is absolutely incredible that there are individuals like the Brenninkmeyer family who has provided this very unselfish means for people who are in a quick need for medical help. Without the financial assistance, I would have been quite challenged with the costs of the procedure. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation actually covered the costs of my flight down to Seattle and back, the entire surgery costs, and 6 months of post-surgery physiotherapy. Accommodations costs would also have been covered, but I was fortunate enough to have a very good client and now friend take care of me while in Seattle post surgery. I am most grateful to the foundation to make this happen for me in a very timely manner and along with the direction and assistance of getting everything in line on my end."
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  • Dorji Sonam Gyalgen Sherpa

    "My sincere thanks goes to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for helping me. I could have not been able to afford the expenses for my head surgeries without them. This incident took place at my home so there was no reason for the insurance company to pay for it because usually we get insured only during the expedition period. Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has helped me get back my life and I so much to thank them that no words can be enough for it. They approached me in the form of God and gave me new life."
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  • Kathy Prophet

    "If something seems too good to be true, it usually is, well, this may be the one exception! From the moment I heard about the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation from The Steadman Clinic and all the way through to post surgery and rehabilitation I have received exceptional medical treatment. This included an excellent level of communication and accessibility from the Steadman Clinic staff. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation was always available and eager to answer questions and their attention to detail allowed for a speedy resolution. It ís hard to adequately express my gratitude for the incredible opportunity I was provided. I will always be grateful to the KBF for the generosity and support that I received."
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  • Rachel Hall

    "As with all of the candidates from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity they have provided me. Special thanks to the staff of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, who helped me through every step and is still at the other end of an email if I need anything!"
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  • Peter Novom

    "When I injured my ACL two years ago I simply assumed that I would have to find a way to live with my injuries and perhaps not continue my path as a ski instructor. I am forever grateful for everything the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has helped me accomplish with their financial support."
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  • Evan Stevens

    "I don’t know if I would be where I am right now without the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. As a high level mountain guide and athlete, I was actively seeking out the best possible care and the KBF made this totally possible. For the first week after my injury, I literally spent every hour of the business day making phone calls trying to get into see a surgeon in Canada to start the process. Although it is wonderful that we have public health care in Canada, it doesn’t come without its flaws, and a non-essential/elective surgery like an ACL repair is one of the systems flaws. It took me a week straight of phone calls to even get the surgeon I wanted to repair my knee in Canada to answer the phone to tell me that it would be 3 weeks before I could even get an appointment to see the surgeon and probably 12 weeks before I could get surgery. In my mind the clock was ticking if I wanted to return to my career at full strength as soon as possible. During this time I received word that the KBF was going to support me and it was like the magical mystery doors all opened wide. I had an appointment with the surgeon in less than 2 weeks, and not just any surgeon, one of the best in the business, better than any care I would have received in Canada. All of the frustration and despair was instantly turned the other direction. "
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  • Josh Smith

    "What the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation did for me was nothing short of a miracle! Even as I write this, I shake my head as I think about the level of care I received and the generosity of the Brenninkmeyer family."
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  • Jim Greene

    "Although I had my own insurance, the foundation covered all of my deductible and out of pocket expenses, as well as all of the surgical procedure costs that insurance didn’t cover. They also paid for my travel and lodging costs and extensive physical therapy. The foundation stepped in to help me at a time where my injury could have cost me my career yet I couldn’t afford to pay the extensive expenses on my own. I am forever grateful to the foundation for enabling me to continue ski patrolling and for the expert care I received at The Steadman Clinic from a top surgeon in his field. I was fast tracked into all of my appointments and the surgery itself. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation provided me with exceptional service during a difficult time in my life. Thank you to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation!!"
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  • Tara Butson

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation is amazing and I do not have words for the generosity that was shown to me in such a difficult time. I needed two surgeries to repair my knee, and the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation provided access to the very best surgeons and physical therapists available to permit a limitless career return. I am able to guide again after enduring an injury I was sure would end my career and life as I knew it. I even considered selling our guide service to pay for the surgeries. I am able to resume guiding thanks to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation."
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  • Matthew Busenhart

    "I stayed focused on recovery with the goal of working race patrol for the 2015 World Championships. I have been on the race crew for the Birds of Prey since 2005. When I learned that Beaver Creek and Vail would be hosting the World Championships I knew I wanted to be part of the team. My injury put that in jeopardy but thanks to the help from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, I was able to recover from my surgery and get back on skis in time for the races. There is no way this would have been possible without the surgery and the physical therapy that the foundation covered. My insurance only covered 15 sessions of therapy and my doctor prescribed 3-5 sessions a week for a year. I am very grateful for the support of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation that allowed me to complete the rehab necessary to get back to work. "
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  • Keith Garvey (2nd Injury)

    "I have had two surgeries in the last two years and thanks to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation I have had remarkable care. Being a professional mountain guide and relying on my body for work it was of great importance to have a surgeon that understood my profession. When I tore my meniscus in Europe, the foundation immediately responded and in within days I had an appointment with a knee specialist at The Steadman Clinic. From the start of the process of surgery to physical therapy afterward, the foundation assisted me with questions, financial support, organization of appointments and transportation. The foundation staff is an incredible asset to this organization. Throughout both my procedures, they were professional, prompt, friendly and worked tirelessly to make both my experiences seamless. I am so grateful for all the Foundation has done for me, and their commitment to assisting outdoor professionals around the world."
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  • Marc Dube

    "I am extremely grateful to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for all of their support and the manner in which everything was handled. The level of treatment and care provided by everyone involved in my case was exceptional. I could not have asked for anything better. Sustaining an injury that requires surgery can certainly present challenges above and beyond what we all experience in daily life, however, I was able to receive treatment very quickly and return to work in a very short period of time. The entire experience and positive outcome, has had a major impact on my life going forward and I can’t thank you enough. "
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  • Charlie Stumm

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation provided me with the assistance I needed in a very tough time. The support they offered covered everything from pre-operative to post-operative and made a very difficult situation go seamlessly smooth. With their help, I was able to focus on my recovery and my career. I can’t thank them enough. "
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  • Seth Waterfall

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation made it possible for me to undergo this medical procedure with the ability to know that the financial security of my family would remain intact. Before I applied to the foundation I had put the surgery off and denied the severity of the symptoms due to the financial burden that undergoing the treatment would bring. I am forever grateful to the Foundation, the Board Members and especially the staff for being supportive, kind and encouraging throughout the process. "
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  • Steve Banks

    "Although I have personal health insurance, the out of pocket expenses, time away from guiding and level of physical therapy I needed created quite a financial burden. With the help of the KBF, I was able to focus on my recovery and not worry about the financials as much. I am extremely lucky to have a very experienced and talented Certified Hand Therapist in my town (and she’s a climber!) who continues to help me regain my strength and mobility in my hand. Without the KBF I would have been limited to much less PT than what I need to regain strength and mobility and get back to my guiding. "
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  • Donny (Donald Duck) Nieters

    "I am forever grateful for the kind folks at the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation and their generosity. I was at a point where I wasn’t sure I could continue down the not so lucrative yet incredibly rewarding path I was/am on for the past 29 years. My passion for snow sports instructing and rafting and kayaking was on the line. The KBF covered my deductibles, copays, prescriptions, P.T., anything my insurance didn’t cover and also the foundation staff arranged for me to use the “Game Ready Cold Therapy Compression Device” during my recovery, all of which would not have been possible on my own. Thanks to the KBF I am back to what I love without skipping a beat…"
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  • Mikey Hovey

    "I thought I was just going to have to suck it up and deal with the pain. But with Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation’s help that all changed. With the screws gone I no longer have nausea inducing vibrations that would run through my leg. With extensive, intensive therapy we were able to reduce scar tissue, reestablish mobility and stability and I now feel that I am a better athlete than I have ever been. The enjoyment of the rehab process coupled with everything I learned has inspired me to add physical training as a form of injury prevention and rehabilitation to my resume. "
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  • Emilie Drinkwater

    "As a full-time mountain guide, I’ve lived life on the financial edge for as long as I can remember, always thinking I’d get ahead eventually. Becoming a fully certified (IFMGA) mountain guide was one of the best career choices I’ve made, though it put me in significant debt. The moment I injured my knee I knew I was in trouble as I was looking at a minimum of 6 months without work (and the reality has actually been 9 months out of work). Thanks to my husband’s job I do have health insurance but I’m grateful that the KBF stepped in to cover all of my deductible, out-of -pocket expenses, and 6 months of physical therapy — not insignificant expenses! Without this invaluable assistance, I would have been forced into even greater debt and likely would have had to reconsider my career as a guide. The existence of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation is a huge beacon of light for those of us who end up injured in a career that demands a healthy body but often at a wage that doesn’t allow room for error. "
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  • Carol Viau

    "I am completely in awe of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. Their support helped get me to Colorado, have the surgery and stay in a hotel until I could return home. The foundation staff is a key piece of their team, they are full of answers to any questions and very helpful. Dr. Tom Hackett of the Steadman Clinic, is an incredible human being (and surgeon) and I’ll be forever grateful for his kind and caring manner. His team is top notch and has replied promptly to any questions I’ve had."
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  • Todd Metz

    "As I look forward to my 40th ski season as a full time, career Professional ski instructor, Examiner, Coach and Trainer, I realize there is a distinct possibility I would NOT be continuing on without the incredible opportunity I was provided through your foundation. Upon obtaining a serious and potentially career-ending injury, I was utterly hopeless and frustrated, paralyzed with pain and despair without any idea of how to proceed. To then have this state of being completely turned around when I received confirmation of being eligible for help from your foundation was more than I could have possibly hoped or prayed for. The level of kindness, care and generous support from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, to stick with me through surgeries and therapies as well as access to THE finest surgical and hospital teams … well it really is nothing short of a miracle. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation is one of the greatest blessings that has happened in my life, It is impossible to adequately express my gratitude other than to say thank you, a thousand times over. "
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  • Ian Kirkwood

    "While hiking the Grand Gulch from the San Juan river, I suffered a devastating heel fracture. Suddenly, normal walking was in doubt. Working on skis seemed unlikely to happen. Surgery to patch the bone together left me with a semi-functional foot and a pile of bills. Almost a year after my injury, I had used all of the physical therapy sessions my insurance would cover, and was still not even close to getting my foot back in a ski boot. Then my physical therapist told me to check out the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. They helped me through the application process, took on my case, and expedited my appointments at The Steadman Clinic. Six months after that first visit, I was getting fit for new ski boots. A month later I was back to the best job in the world, Ski Patrolling! The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation helped me to get the treatment I needed way faster than I would have done on my own, and continued to help me until I knew I was done."
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  • Mark Allen

    "If it were not for the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, I would not be in this industry today as a guide."
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  • Matthew Biddle

    "I learned of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation shortly after my fusion surgery. After meeting with a foundation representative, we decided there was potential for the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation to extend a helping hand to me in terms of my recovery. Thankfully I was accepted into their program and have been able, with their help, to engage in a consistent physical/mechanical therapy routine. The benefits have been exceptional. With their financial help and help locating appropriate physical therapy centers I have been able to regularly (weekly) attend PT sessions. It has been 9 months since my fusion surgery and I am moving better and feeling stronger every day. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has enabled me to approach my recovery confidently without the accompanying financial stress that comes with balancing healthcare costs on a guide’s wage. Just knowing there is a support network that works efficiently to ensure I receive the appropriate care and financial assistance is an incredible relief. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has been my support network and their generous support has helped me return to my pre-injury health. I will be guiding again soon."
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  • Annie Forbes

    "I believe you should do what makes you happy and when possible you should live your passion. It was heartbreaking to find myself sidelined by an injury at the beginning of the season (it was only my second day on snow), unable to teach, ski or complete my level three certification, a goal I had been working towards. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation is amazing and the support I received, from the start of my application all the way through to surgery and rehabilitation has been outstanding. I will never fully be able to express my gratitude for the amazing gift this foundation has given me and the exceptional care I received through The Steadman Clinic. Nine months later I am back on snow, feeling great and living my passion."
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  • Andy Lapkass

    "Because my wife and I have always lived in what could be considered a “fiscally responsible” lifestyle – always maintaining adequate health insurance and an emergency fund – we probably could have seen our way through covering medical and prescription costs during the period when I was recovering. However, knowing the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation was there backing us up made a huge difference in relieving the amount of stress we felt around the surgery. We were able to put all our energy into both preparing for surgery and then regaining full recovery in the shortest amount of time. Though the financial support we received was tremendous, what was most important about the KBF were the “background intangibles.” My soul has been refreshed to know there are people and groups out there that truly care about other human beings. Sometimes with the way today's news is, we forget that there's a lot of good and that great and wonderful things happen in the world too. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation completely fits that role. That more than anything has made me want to be more compassionate, to give back more, to be the best person I can be. I know those are all cliches, but they're true. The KBF gave me so much more than just a new hip. You are all super stars!!"
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  • Elijah Teter

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation is such a wonderful group who is in it for the right reasons. My health insurance was only going to cover a small portion of the surgery. Since it was an emergency surgery, I was not able to get pre-approval from the foundation. However, I worked with foundation staff through every step of the application process after surgery. At the end of the application process, hearing that I was approved was just beyond words. The surgery enabled me to return to coaching/instructing immediately. The foundation helped me with the financial burden it was going to put on me and the not for profit snowboard academy that I was helping create. Without the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, the financial burden would have been heavy and hard to overcome whereas, with their support I was reassured and supported every step of the way. This foundation is a wonderful group and I am eternally grateful to them for my strong return into the coaching and instructing world!!!"
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  • James Banks

    "Having the guidance encouragement of peers and professionals led me to learn about the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation and what was possible regarding additional financial assistance for skiing/ guiding professionals for my necessary procedure. I was not only approved for the replacement of my bad knee but was able to have the other knee checked as well to confirm that it didn't need any attention! With the rising, escalating and complicated nature of health care, even if you have good insurance there are out of pocket expenses that are not covered. I would have experienced financial hardship without the aid of the Foundation due to the fact that I was on short term disability and wouldn't have the extra income to cover said expenses. I am immensely thankful to the Foundation for all of the guidance, help and assistance provided to get me back in the game! I can't tell you how many times this season the my friends, peers and management team have personally told me how glad they are to have me back ... that is an incredible feeling!! I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what has been given to me and that I am still able to make a contribution to my sports, my careers and live the life I've carved out for myself over the years! It is a testament to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation and what they do to support working class professionals like myself ... and I am eternally grateful for all that you have done! "
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  • David Berry

    "At first, I wasn't sure where to turn to for help. I didn't have insurance to cover my injury and my career as a ski instructor and skier was about to end. Then I found the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. It makes me feel good to know there are people out there that can help. I couldn't have done this without them, I can't thank them enough."
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  • Reggie Crist

    "I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the best medical staff in the world and I'm grateful that the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation made it all possible!"
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  • Karin Kean

    "After a frustrating 2.5 year odyssey through medical treatment, countless therapies and the related costs following an injury while ski patrolling in Switzerland, I finally came to the right place, the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. Without their financial and generous individual support, I would have had to end my career as an outdoor athlete and professional, and resign to a lifestyle I dreaded. My gratitude to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation and the medical support group at the Steadman Clinic is far beyond any words. Months after surgery I can tell you I am far better off than ever since my accident. Once again, I am looking forward to a balanced, well-rounded life and career in sync with the natural environment-what a gift!"
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  • Bradford LaRiviere

    "I recently tore the ACL and meniscus in my left knee while skiing on my day off. After the accident, my patrol coworkers passed around a helmet during the morning meeting seeking donations to help pay for my surgery. Needless to say, the fund was quite a few dollars short of the going rate for knee surgery. Several days later, while still recovering from the initial injury, the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation came up in conversation with some volunteer patrollers. I quickly located the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation website and requested application materials. Within a few hours I had the application packet emailed to me and I raced to fill it out. Shortly after, I was contacted by the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation and told they would like to fund my knee surgery and all other rehabilitative aspects of this process. I was told I would receive funding on a Tuesday, was flown to Vail, C.O. on Thursday and had my surgery that Friday. It was really astonishing how fast the whole process went, start to finish in under a week. I had my surgery at the Steadman Clinic in Vail Colorado. Under the guidance of a Steadman team I opted to graft a portion of my own patellar ligament as my new ACL and chose to save as much of my damaged meniscus as possible and suture the multiple pieces back together. Since the surgery I have been able to attend physical therapy on almost a daily basis, which has contributed immensely to the fast and strong recovery of my reconstructed knee. Without the funding and support of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation my career as a professional ski patroller would have come to a very abrupt end. Thanks to their help I will be back on my skis this winter for another season."
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  • Barrett Johnson

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation subsidized the gaps in my company provided health insurance. Without their financial support, the out of pocket expense of my hernia surgery would have been catastrophic to my meager lifestyle. The foundation personally saw to it that every need was met during the complicated process of medical billing and expenses. They were able to anticipate and intercept most every interaction I had with the Hospital Billing Department. I was able to experience the care and professionalism that we as Breckenridge Ski Patrollers strive for every day. I am reminded daily how fortunate I am to have found my life's work as a Patroller and am grateful for the intervention of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for getting me back to the work I love."
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  • Deborah Epifanio

    "I cannot thank the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation enough! With the foundations very generous assistance, I was able to have the best medical care at Porter Hospital, Vail Valley Medical Center, and Honda Physical Therapy. I was able to focus on my recovery without the stress of the medical expenses. I'm extremely grateful and appreciative for the help and support of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation and look forward to resuming my career of teaching skiing."
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  • Max Tepfer

    "My shoulder will always be funky and I will always have to work to keep it highly functioning, but the excellent care I was able to receive through the support of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has given me the opportunity to both continue working full time as a professional guide as well as to continue pursuing my dreams and ambitions outside of work. "
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  • Lonnie Bredeson

    "With the help from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for my 2nd hip replacement surgery, it eliminated the financial strain on the family as I could focus on becoming healthy again. I was able to return to the ski slopes that fall with complete mobility for skiing with my new hips. I cannot thank the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation enough for helping me get out pain from my day to day work of teaching and training others to become better skiers. "
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  • John Schneider

    "It is impossible to put into words how grateful I am to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for their invaluable support."
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  • Luke Ochs

    "Simply put, The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation saved my career. By hurting myself outside of work, I, in turn, took on all of the liabilities of injury. I could not work, collect compensations, or even pay the costly prices of surgery. I began to prepare myself for a career change and a potential move away from my mountain life. As soon as I contacted the foundation, the ball began to roll in a very positive direction. I received the highest quality of surgical care, physical therapy and continued check-ups - all at NO COST. I cannot emphasize enough how much the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has done for me. Instead of disaster, I encountered a blessing and I'll never forget how I have been given a second chance to follow my dreams."
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  • Jan Degerberg

    "It is hard to describe what it feels like to face what could be the end of a dream, career and potentially an entire lifestyle. If you are sitting reading this, I am sorry you are hurt; but let me tell you, you have found the right people that can help you through it. I've been given a gift that is a blessing and more importantly a second chance to further my career and love for skiing. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation changed my life, they believed in what my hopes and dreams are and have given me the chance to continue my journey. Incredible, unbelievable, beyond what I truly comprehended, I cannot put into words what this foundation has given me. "
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  • Viren Perumal

    "If not for the foundation I would not have been able to receive the care that I did from the orthopedist that has done more of these specialty surgeries than anyone else. Even though I had insurance they would not cover much of this treatment as it was out of network and the insurance hoops are daunting. I had put off getting my treatment done for years and have guided with pain and tightness….the foundation gave me the ability to get things taken care of and prevented me from having further damage that could have resulted in a full hip replacement."
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  • Meg Nelson

    "Without the help of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, I wouldn't have been able to continue doing what I love."
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  • Wesley Bunch

    "Without the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation my life as a mountaineering guide would not be possible. I cannot thank you enough!"
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  • Keith Garvey

    "I’m not sure I could have done this without the help from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. Surgery, even with insurance is a very costly endeavor. To have access to the best doctors in their field was a dream come true. The care and attention to detail the Steadman Clinic provided was world class and the financial support provided by the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation made it all possible. Though I had insurance, with my high deductible and all the peripheral costs of hotel rooms, travel expenses, and physical therapy, I don’t think I could have done it. For that, I can’t thank the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation enough for getting me back on my feet and into the mountains! "
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  • Emily Heikkinen

    "I am so grateful for the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. With your assistance, I was able to put 100% into my recovery. The PT's at Howard Head Physical Therapy are world-class. Their care and support for my recovery was top notch. Thank you to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for all the support in getting me back on my feet. As each day goes by that I am on my ski's, I will always remember what you did for me and what you do for others."
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  • Kent Pederson

    "I now have a pain free ski season that I had not considered possible before thanks to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation's help. Thanks so much!!"
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  • Rob Gowler

    "As a recipient I can tell you that it IS true and there are absolutely no strings attached. When they say that they will pay for 100% of the surgery and all associated costs they mean it. I went to physical therapy everyday for the first 2 + months and they covered that no problem. I continue to go to PT as often as the doc recommends. I was put up for a week post surgery in Vail until I was ready to drive back home. I have switched locations a couple of times since my surgery and had to reschedule different therapists and they are fine with that too. Their only goal is to do what is best for the patients at any expense. Without the help from the foundation I can say with certainty that I would not be looking nearly as good as I do for a prompt return at 100%. All I can say is Thank You for all of your help!"
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  • Forrest McCarthy

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation provided financial assistance and access to the world-class orthopedic surgeons at The Steadman Clinic. Thanks to The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, Teton Hand Therapy and my wife I now have an elbow that is working better than it has in thirty-six years."
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  • Renny Jackson

    "I believe that the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation made my return to the work that I love possible by facilitating my surgery at the Steadman Clinic and by getting me started immediately with physical therapy. I would highly recommend The Steadman Clinic to anyone who is anticipating orthopedic surgery of this type. I would like to thank everyone who was involved during my stay in Vail including: the staff at the Vail Resort Hotel; all of the folks at the Steadman Clinic; all of the folks in the physical therapy department; and The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation whose help and support made it all possible. It was an incredible experience! "
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  • Daniel McGarry

    "The foundation is amazing! My MRI, pre and post operation visits, the surgery, the rehab and even covering an ice machine-which was my best friend right after surgery-was all covered. I didn't see a single bill and everything was hassle free. Without the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, I would not have a future in guiding. "
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  • David “Dogger” Hidalgo

    "I can’t thank the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation enough! I was struggling with the idea that I would have to give up my passion in the ski instruction profession due to the pain in both knees and not having any insurance at the time. Thanks to a friend, Jerry Berg, I was put in touch with the foundation. Never in my wildest dreams did I think they would cover the expense of the entire operation and recovery therapy! The staffs at the Steadman Clinic, Joint Replacement Center, and Porter Hospital were exceptional. I will always be extremely thankful for this blessing awarded me. "
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  • Cavan Havlik

    "The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has gone above and beyond for me. I cant explain in words what a difference this has made in my life. At 28 years old I could not ski let alone pursue a career in that field. The foundation has given me the oppertunity to continue what I love to do and to pursue a career in the ski industry. Without them my skiing days would be limited. I am so grateful that I can continue to ski and pursue something I am passionate about. Every day I ski will be because of them and I will never forget their gift."
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  • Lowell Hart

    "KBF support has helped immeasurably through two knee surgeries and rehab. The doctors are world-class and the staff at Howard Head knowledgeable and helpful. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has been exceptional: attentive, caring, and always available to help with any questions. I’m extremely grateful and appreciative for KBF help and support and look forward to resuming my career in snowsports instruction and guiding."
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  • ReCe Chilton

    "It is because of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation that I have been able to have the best medical care and rehabilitation. I am a single mom and I would have had to find a full time desk job to pay my mortgage and support my daughter. In that scenario my knees would get stuck without flexion again and it would be very difficult for me to return to teaching. Also, I could have possibly lost my home due to medical debt. Putting my recovery first will allow me to recover to the best possible shape. I am looking forward to a life without constant pain with knees that will bend so that I can ride a bike again. (I haven’t been able to pedal a bike in recent years and I love to bike.) I will be able to walk down stairs one foot after another and possibly be able to run a bit. These are gifts without measure and they would not have been possible without the help of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. I am forever grateful. Thank you!"
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  • Marc Harrison

    "I was able to have the procedure and resultant physical therapy due to the generosity of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation."
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