Travis Roy died of his paralysis Thursday, 25 to the day after sustaining a serious spinal cord injury 11 seconds after starting his hockey career at Boston University.
“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Travis Roy,” Boston University Athletics said in a statement. “His story is the epitome of inspiration and courage, and he has been a role model and hero to so many.
“Travis’ work and dedication to helping other spinal cord injury survivors is just amazing. His legacy will last forever, not only within the Boston University community, but with the countless lives he has affected across the country. Our sincere thoughts are with his wonderful family as well as his extensive support group of friends and colleagues. ”
Starting with a golf tournament hosted with top Boston Bruins and NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr while Roy was still in college, Roy embarked on a career as a speaker and fundraiser. of funds that would help countless people, both of its links with those who suffer from spinal cord injuries. and through its foundation. His Foundation has awarded more than $ 4.7 million in research grants, as well as grants to survivors of these injuries.
“Twenty years later, why am I still doing this?” Roy told NHL.com in 2018. “I think part of it is because I need to hope to get up each morning, selfishly, and for me that hope is sustained and becomes a little more tangible thanks to funding for research. ”
“The National Hockey League mourns the passing and celebrates the life of Travis Roy, a special man who responded to his devastating injury by dedicating himself to the service of others,” the League said on Twitter.
Roy, who first took the ice before he was two, has always loved hockey, even when it was difficult for him to be in the game he couldn’t play after his injury on October 20, 1995. in his first game with the Terriers.
“I was on the ice at 20 months,” said Roy. “For the next 18 and a half years, I loved hockey. I loved him with all my heart, with my emotion and that was a big part of who I was, and I’ve been heartbroken since the night. of my injury. But I still like to watch the game being played. ”
He knew he could help. He believed he should help. And he did.
“I consider my life to have a purpose,” Roy said. “I’m ready to put myself in that position on the ice to know that something good is going to come out of it and that we are going to help change lives.
Bruins chairman Cam Neely expressed his condolences on Twitter.
“Travis Roy was the ultimate symbol of determination and courage,” said Neely. “The impact Travis has had on the New England hockey community is immeasurable, and his relentless advocacy for spinal cord research was inspiring.
“The Bruins extend their sincere condolences to the Roy family, the Travis Roy Foundation, Boston University, and everyone who knew and loved Travis Roy. ”