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Travis Roy  

Former Boston University Men’s Hockey Player; Paralyzed 11 seconds into his collegiate career; Founded the Travis Roy Foundation

Travis Roy first put on ice skates at just 20 months old. As years passed, his love for the game of hockey quickly became a passion. In the fall of 1995 Travis Roy accomplished one of his dream goals by earning a hockey scholarship to Boston University. At twenty-years of age Travis Roy 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.

Despite this ill twist of fate, Travis Roy has continued to persevere and defy the odds. With an intense rehabilitation regime, he has regained some movement in his right arm. While coming to grips with his life as a quadriplegic, Travis Roy returned to Boston University less than a year after his accident. Four years later, he graduated with a degree in public relations from Boston University's prestigious College of Communication. In the storied history of BU Terriers hockey, Travis Roy's #24 is the only jersey to have been retired.

In 1997 Travis Roy wrote his autobiography with Sports Illustrated's E.M. Swift titled Eleven Seconds which chronicles his accident, rehabilitation, and perseverance through personal tragedy. Eleven Seconds was recently updated with an 'Afterword' chapter and is currently in its sixth printing.

An articulate advocate for individuals living with spinal cord injuries, Travis Roy is a frequent speaker on the hope research carries and the need for increased funding, including testifying before a US Senate Committee hearing for The National Institute of Health in Washington, DC, addressing the Massachusetts state legislature and providing testimony to the Maine state legislature. In 1997, Roy founded the Travis Roy Foundation, 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 costly adaptive equipment necessary to live more active and independent lives.

Actively involved in the activities of the Foundation that bears his name, Travis Roy is a popular motivational speaker and has also worked as a color commentator for college hockey games on ESPN and WMTW-TV8 in Maine. A Boston, MA resident, he spends his summers with his family on Lake Champlain in Vermont. Travis Roy can also be found supporting his Terriers at Boston University hockey games, or with a paint brush in his mouth working on his latest work of art.

Speech Topics

Setting Goals

Overcoming challenges

Motivation / Inspiration

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