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MATTHEW GROBMAN

Loves the Snow

His face lights up when we are all dressed for the mountain, and we drive up to the entrance of Vermont Adaptive at Pico.

Matthew Grobman, 11, is not as interested in the words that people exchange between each other as he is in their interaction. “Matthew gets the biggest smile when he does things one-on-one and always giggles when I kiss him all over his face,” laughed his mother, Jodi. “He’s the only one of my children who still allows me to do that.” 

From playing video games to bowling with the family, Matthew loves being active and interactive with everyone, especially his family. Because they are a family of long-time skiers, Jodi said that having him head for the slopes with them was an essential part of their family experience.

Matthew, who lives in Mahwah, N.J., learned to ski when he was three -years -old at Pico Mountain with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, and has been going there regularly ever since. 

Vermont has always been the desired destination for the Grobman family; Matthew’s father has been a diehard East Coast skier at Killington for the past 35 years. When Matthew’s twin brother Tyler and younger sister Ally were at a young age, they were destined to be skiers. “When Tyler and Ally started skiing at two, there was no other place to ski than daddy’s favorite place on the East Coast,” Jodi explained. Leaving Vermont was not an option for the skiers. Vermont Adaptive at Pico Mountain has allowed the Grobman’s to not only ski their favorite place on the East Coast but also to include every member of their family. 

“I would never take him anywhere else,” Jodi said. “His face lights up when we are all dressed for the mountain, and we drive up to the entrance of Vermont Adaptive at Pico.”
Matthew has Periventricular Leukomalacia, a type of brain injury that can occur in premature infants. “Basically, he is stuck in a body that doesn’t work, but whose mind is thriving,” Jodi explained, adding that he uses a head switch to play video games and to learn in school. 

At Pico, Matthew skis with a bi-ski—a seat on two skis with a sled handle that guides the piece of skiing equipment down the hill. Three trained Vermont Adaptive instructors assist him. “The faster they go, the bumpier it gets and, the happier and louder Matthew is,” laughed Jodi.  

“If we didn’t have an accessible mountain like Pico, Matthew would be sitting in the condo all day, but instead he is able to ski with the family. When the whole family gets to be together he couldn’t be happier.” 

Each year Matthew sets new goals to accomplish on the slopes—in 2014 he broke his skiing record of 16 days. This year he is close to accomplishing 20 days of skiing and just recently broke his record of skiing a whole day by skiing two full days. Also for the first time, Vermont Adaptive instructors brought him to the top of the summit of Pico at 3,967 feet, and he skied the slopes all the way to the base.