Red White & Snow

Melinda’s Story

Melinda Crandall

Your support at Red, White & Snow helps fund new possibilities for individuals of all abilities at the National Ability Center. Every dollar you donate and every hour you give helps participants like Missy Cowley discover possibilities while pursuing their dreams – be they for new skills and independence, or for the chance to enjoy recreational time with family and friends.

Melinda Crandall Video


Melinda and Ben Crandall live in Utah and are the parents of three grown children and grandparents to seven grandchildren. The Crandall family spent many weekends and vacations mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, rollerblading; anything active and outdoors was always on the agenda. After raising her family, Melinda became an accomplished hair stylist with a thriving salon attracting clients from as far away as New York City to experience her magic touch. Melinda’s life changed in 1999 when she was rear-ended by a distracted driver, which left her with a broken neck and injured spinal cord. That accident would be the first of three that Melinda endured over nine years. With the support of her husband Ben, and inspiration from her children and grandchildren, Melinda continued to fight back and move forward after each set-back.

In 2008, Melinda found the National Ability Center, which has allowed her to rediscover the joy of skiing and re-claim some of her independence. Melinda has an infectious positive attitude and, in her words, “No one can tell me I can’t do something… the word ‘no’ is not in my vocabulary.” Even with her positive attitude, Melinda has had days where she didn’t believe in herself. Having a place like the National Ability Center and her skiing coach, Patricia, has been a critical component to her ability to heal mentally and physically. As much as NAC has been there for Melinda, she has taught us so much – she exemplifies the term ‘perseverance’ for all of us. She is an inspiring example of what is possible, when combined with courage and determination.