As years passed, his love for the game of hockey quickly became a passion. In the fall of 1995 Roy accomplished one of his dream goals by earning a hockey scholarship to Boston University (BU). At twenty-years old he entered into his first collegiate hockey game. Eleven seconds into his first shift, his life changed forever as he crashed into the boards and cracked his fourth and fifth cervical vertebra, paralyzing him from the neck down.
With an intense rehabilitation regime, he has regained some movement in his right arm and while coming to grips with his life as a quadriplegic, he returned to the BU campus less than a year after his accident. Four years later, he graduated with a degree in public relations from BU’s prestigious College of Communication. In the storied history of BU Terriers hockey, Roy’s #24 is the only retired jersey.
In 1997 Roy wrote his autobiography with Sports Illustrated’s E.M. Swift titled Eleven Seconds which chronicles his accident, rehabilitation, and perseverance through personal tragedy. An articulate advocate for individuals living with spinal cord injuries, Roy is a frequent speaker on the hope research carries and the need for increased funding. He has testified before both federal and state legislatures.
Travis Roy Foundation, which was founded in 1997, is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that focuses on finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and provides grants to spinal cord injury survivors in financial need to help them purchase the costly adaptive equipment necessary to live more active and independent lives. The foundation has successfully raised over $20 million.
While Travis loves rolling through the streets of Boston, his favorite place to be is with his family in Vermont on the shores of Lake Champlain. Roy can also be found supporting his Terriers at BU hockey games, or with a paint brush in his mouth working on his latest work of art.