“The first 20 years of my life I had a passion and the last 20 plus years i’ve had a purpose,” said Travis Roy, founder of The Travis Roy Foundation.
In 1995 Travis Roy’s life turned upside down.
“I was injured at Boston University playing hockey during my very first game, said Roy.” My very first shift and I had big goals and big dreams and I was pretty devastated to have them come to an end at such a young age. “
At just 20-years old, a skating injury left him paralyzed from the neck down.
After receiving so much support from the hospital staff and his hockey community, he decided to start the Travis Roy foundation in 1997.
“When we first started doing the foundation truthfully, I didn’t know what we were doing, but I knew that I wanted to give back both through the adaptive equipment grants that we provide and through research,” said Roy.
22 years later, the foundation has raised millions of dollars to provide grants for people living with spinal cord injuries across the United Stats
Roy said, “We purchase wheelchairs, and voice activated computers and beds and lifts. Insurance unfortunately doesn’t cover all the basics.”
To raise money for grants, the foundation hosts events all over New England,
Their biggest event is the annual Travis Roy wiffle ball tournament, which takes place at little Fenway in Essex.
Members of the foundation say it’s about celebrating with those who make it all possible.
Bruce Bosley does media relations for the Travis Roy Wiffle Ball Tournament and said,” it’s really about sharing it with the people and the donations due to the internet have exploded in the last ten years.”
To commemorate the upcoming tournament they teamed up with local Dunkin’ franchisees to accept guest donations.
Dunkin is also donating twelve hundred dollars to the Travis Roy Foundation for the ninth year in a row.
Travis says these donations make the wiffle ball tournament so much fun.
“Every year we have made more than the previous year,” said Roy. “So the energy is still very much alive and there’s magic that goes on at this event.”
Roy hopes the foundation will create a better world for people who suffer from spinal cord injuries. He said, “I’m hopeful that someday there will be a breakthrough that allows people with paralysis to be more independent and maybe even walk.” ff