Travis Roy is a powerful motivational speaker and a former college ice hockey player for Boston University. On October 20, 1995 – just eleven seconds into his first-ever shift for Boston University men's ice hockey team – a 20-year-old Roy slid head-first into the boards, cracking his fourth vertebra and leaving him a quadriplegic. That fateful October night in 1995 signaled the death of one dream - but also the eventual rebirth of a special kind of hope. Although imprisoned for months in a hospital bed, then confined to a wheelchair, Travis gradually found the grit and the will to reclaim for himself a fulfilling and productive life.
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. Eleven Seconds was updated in 2005 with an 'Afterword' chapter and is currently in its sixth printing.
Travis has spoken to various corporations, universities and high schools across the country. He speaks on conquering life’s hurdles, setting goals, and his overall experiences in life. Despite this ill twist of fate, 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, he 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, Roy's #24 is the only jersey to have been retired.
“Travis captures his audience by making them think, inspires them to take on new challenges and accept any challenges that may be forced upon them, and most importantly encourages us to give back and have meaning in your life.” --Association of Legal Administrators
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 a US Senate Committee hearing for The National Institute of Health in Washington, DC, addressed the Massachusetts state legislature and provided testimony to the Maine state legislature
Travis set up the "The Travis Roy Foundation,” to help spinal cord injury survivors and to fund research for a cure. Inspired by Travis' own story, the lifeblood of the Travis Roy Foundation has been the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations across North America. This generosity has made an immediate impact on the lives of many individuals. Since 1997, the Travis Roy Foundation has distributed more than $4.5 million in individual grants as well as to research projects and rehabilitation institutions across North America. The Travis Roy Foundation is uniquely positioned to touch individual lives with its focus on providing adaptive equipment and sponsoring research.