FMC News & Events

Ice Hockey Has Lost a True Hero

Travis Roy with FMC President, Rob McBride

At 1:45pm on Thursday, October 29th hockey lost one of the most inspiring, kind and courageous souls to ever play the sport – Travis Roy. The FMC family joins the entire ice sports community in mourning this tragic loss and sending our love and condolences to Travis’ entire family.

Most of you know the heart-wrenching story of Travis. On October 20, 1995 just 11 seconds into his first shift playing for the Boston University Terriers, the 20-year-old crashed head-first into the dashers and was permanently paralyzed. He was relegated to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The almost exactly 25 years since that fateful day has laid witness to the strength and generosity of the human spirit.

For most of us that injury would have doomed us to a life of dependency, but not this remarkable man. Rather than sink into despair, Travis used his injury to make a positive difference in this world. With the help of family and friends in 1996 he formed the Travis Roy Foundation to assist those afflicted with spinal cord injury and support research for treatments. Over $9,000,000 has been raised by the foundation that has gone directly to assistive equipment / support and research.

Along with his fundraising efforts, Travis traveled the country giving over 40 motivational speeches each year. His talks ranged from explaining the nature of spinal cord injury and the treatments being developed, to overcoming hardship and finding your purpose and passion in life. If you had the honor of hearing Travis speak you know that it was impossible to make it through without a tear in your eye and true awe that a person could endure so much yet find more inside of him to give to others.

Travis’ dad Lee Roy was an ice rink manager in Maine and a leader in the Northeast Ice Skating Manager’s Association. He is a friend and mentor to so many of us in the ice rink and hockey family. He started Travis on his hockey journey at just 20 months old. Travis went on to attend and play at North Yarmouth Academy and Tabor Academy before enrolling at Boston University.

Travis leaves behind a legacy as a gifted hockey player, an inspiring public speaker, a tireless advocate for those afflicted with spinal cord injury and above all else, he was an amazingly caring human being. At 45 years old he has been taken from this world far too soon, but his impact and contributions will endure for generations.

Please help us honor Travis’ memory and all his accomplishments by contributing to the Travis Roy Foundation at: https://www.travisroyfoundation.org/donate-now/