April 28, 2017
BENEFITING: TRAVIS ROY FOUNDATION
ORGANIZER: TRAVIS ROY FOUNDATION
EVENT: 2017 Boston Marathon
EVENT DATE: Apr 17, 2017
Eleven seconds. Eleven seconds into his first collegiate hockey game, Travis Roy cracked his fourth cervical vertebra in a freak accident and was paralyzed from the neck down.
In October 1995, I was a Junior at Boston University and in the stands with my friends for the first BU hockey game of the season. Before the game, the team and fans stood on their feet cheering as three banners were raised to the rafters; Hockey East Champions, Bean Pot Champions, and NCAA Champions. As I stood there, I inwardly laughed that I was even at this game at all-as a figure skater for most of my youth, I had a love/hate relationship with hockey, and certainly never envisioned myself a fan in college.
Just a few minutes later, Travis lay on the ice, not moving at all, four rows directly in front of me. None of us wanted to admit to ourselves or each other what we all knew, he was injured badly. A few hours later, we learned he had sustained a spinal cord injury that would likely leave him paralyzed for the rest of his life.
I never stopped following Travis and his story, and last fall my son was invited to attend the 20th Anniversary Event at BU and would have the opportunity to hear Travis speak, and maybe even meet him. My first thought was "20 YEARS??? How have 20 years passed??" but after recovering from the shock, I realized this was something he needed to attend. Travis' book has been on our book shelf for years, but our son had been afraid to read it. At his age, it was scary to think someone could be so severly injured playing the game he loves so much.
Meeting Travis changed all of that. He quickly realized Travis is a lot like him-he loves hockey (like REALLY loves hockey), and other than being in a wheelchair, there is really nothing different about Travis than any other person he knows. But there is something very special about Travis. He has spent the last two decades raising awareness about spinal cord injuries, raising money for research, and providing adaptive equipment for spinal cord injury survivors.
The last 21 years have given me perspective-the dreams Travis had before his injury hit really close to home in our family, and the work he has done since then is an inspiration for all of us. I'm running for all of the SCI survivors and their families because I can. The training and fundraising is not nearly as challenging as their everyday lives, and I'm so honored to run the marathon in this great city of Boston for TeamTRF!
TRAVIS ROY FOUNDATION wrote -
TeamTRF is proud to participate in the 2017 John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Program!!! This is our fourth year partnering with John Hanock and appreciate our runners who have raised over $200,000 to support the Travis Roy Foundation.
For over 19 years the Travis Roy Foundation has raised money to fund spinal cord research and to provide adaptive equipment grants to spinal cord injured survivors. As much as every person with paralysis would like to walk again, the TRF recognizes there are many SCI survivors who have more immediate and pressing needs. Through the purchase of wheelchairs, voice-activated computers, simple home modifications, and other adaptive equipment, the Travis Roy Foundation provides increased independence to our grantees today, as they wait for research to come to fruition tomorrow.