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Deborah Epifanio

Date of Surgery: 4/21/2015
Update (3/2016): Deborah has returned to instructing full-time at Vail Ski Resort.

EpifanioAbout Deborah

I live in Vail, Colorado.  Skiing has always been a big part of my life.  I started to ski in our backyard in Pennsylvania as a young child with my brother and sisters.  I grew up skiing at a small nearby ski resort.  In middle school, I competed in freestyle events.  In high school and college, I ski raced as well.  Before graduating from college, I became a ski instructor.  At the end of college, I came to Colorado for vacation and never left.  I have now lived in Vail for more than 30 years teaching skiing the whole time.  I’m married to  a Vail Ski Patrol man and raising a ski racer who attends Vail Ski Academy.

Career Background

I started teaching skiing winter break of 1982 during my sophomore year of college and into spring semester at Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.  For 3 winters I taught skiing and took college classes fall and summer semesters.  I completed a degree in advertising.  During my last semester, I interned at an advertising agency, working on a advertising campaign for a new ski resort, Montage Mountain.  When Montage opened, I started to teach skiing there and got my associate certification while working for them.  At the end of the season, I came to Vail on vacation and have been here ever since.  I attained my full certification level a few years after teaching for Vail.  I have had my dream job for more than 30 years and look forward to many more years of doing what I love.  I have the most amazing office working with students from all over the country and world.

Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan

The day after Vail closed for the season, April 21, 2015 I had a full knee replacement.  The first few months after surgery I healed slowly, but once August came, I was able to get my quadriceps strength back and my recovery then sped up.  I thank my recovery to the dedicated physical therapy.  I worked on building strength and flexibility.  Thanks to Colorado Joint Replacement and Honda Physical Therapy, I am now enjoying skiing pain free.


"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."

- Deborah Epifanio