A life spent transforming negatives into positives is something we all strive for, so it goes without saying that Travis Roy was a true role model and hero during his life.
It was sad to learn that Roy, who was paralyzed from the neck down after a tragic hockey accident 11 seconds into his Boston University career, had passed away on Thursday in his Vermont home at the young age of 45 years old. According to longtime WCVB news anchor Mike Lynch, Roy was battling bladder cancer at the time of his death.
The details of his injury and an inspiring life lost too soon are certainly tragic happenings, but it all highlights the full, vibrant way Roy lived his life as a courageous, inspiring force for good for so many others. The Travis Roy Foundation became a charity synonymous with support for those with spinal cord injuries, established in 1996 the foundation has helped more than 2,100 quadriplegics and paraplegics, and awarded nearly $5 million in grants toward spinal cord research.
The foundation was Roy’s greatest single accomplishment, but he touched the lives of everybody that met him from fellow BU players, to spinal cord victims and all manner of people around the world whether they played hockey or not. To be in Roy’s presence was to be inspired by his sheer force of will, his positive outlook and unwillingness to give in to unthinkable circumstances.
Witness the outpouring of love on twitter from BU players:
Hard to put into words how much it hurts to read the news of Travis Roy’s passing. One of the greatest parts of scoring a big goal at Agganis Arena is the warm embrace from Travis post game. Such a positive uplifting human. Rest In Peace my friend. Prayers with your family. pic.twitter.com/XmPpA8R10h
— Colby Cohen (@ColbyCohen36) October 29, 2020
From those of us in the media:
Countless conversations, emails, texts with my friend. He just loved to talk hockey. Frozen in that chair always tightened my chest with sadness. But, he became a pass first human improving the life of many with his grit and relentlessness. Travis Roy was 45. Skate again, my man. pic.twitter.com/nuiMCffDEa
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) October 29, 2020
And from those like Roy that are valiantly battling catastrophic hockey injuries suffered on the ice:
Travis did so many little things and big things for so many people. This is gutting, really truly sad. Travis visited me when I was still in the hospital and has continued to be a big support in my recovery. Wow. #ThankYouTravis pic.twitter.com/a3xLwxhTC6
— Denna Laing (@dlaing14) October 29, 2020
Roy often worked in tandem with the Bruins given his ties to Boston, so it was no surprise that B’s President Cam Neely made a statement in the hours after his passing:
“Travis Roy was the ultimate symbol of determination and courage. The impact that Travis had on the New England hockey community is immeasurable, and his relentless advocacy for spinal cord research was inspiring. The Bruins offer sincere condolences to the Roy family, the Travis Roy Foundation, Boston University, and all of those who knew and loved Travis Roy.”
Boston Hockey Now sends the deepest condolences to Travis Roy’s family, those that were touched by him over his 45 years of brilliant life and the Boston University family that he will forever be remembered as a big part of Roy before, during and after the Terriers hockey game that forever changed his life 25 years ago.