Each year, people from our team nominate nonprofits for our organization to support financially. At The Panther Group, we’re proud to support organizations that are working to make our communities better. Through Panther Cares, we make that happen! Below is one of our 2022 nominations that we are very proud to support!
What Is The Travis Roy Foundation?
“There are times when we choose our challenges, we set our goals, and there are other times where our challenges simply choose us. It’s what we do in the face of those challenges that defines who we are”
— Travis Roy
About Travis, who started The Travis Roy Foundation:
In 1995, Travis Roy realized his lifelong dream, Travis was a 20-year-old freshman, highly recruited from Tabor Academy, who was making his debut for Boston University, the reigning NCAA champions in the 1995-96 season opener when he lost his footing and crashed headfirst into the boards suffering a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down 11 seconds into his college hockey career.
In an instant, his life turned into an unexpected nightmare. Yet Travis’ story is more about courage, determination, and the power of love, that would open up an astonishing new life for one extraordinary young man – and touch the hearts of millions and help countless individuals who had the same misfortune.
Travis was injured on live TV. His was not only a local story but he had the attention of the entire country. The fundraising, the donations, the people who wanted to help him were uncountable from across the US and Canada. Stories abound from a couple canceling a European vacation and donating the money to Travis, to children breaking piggy banks, to raffles, NHL teams. It was awe inspiring to see and for Travis to see and experience as well. The love and support he received helped him understand that others needed assistance, so he started his Foundation.
About the Foundation:
Travis returned to BU in 1996 and in addition to resuming his college experience, at the same time he started the Travis Roy Foundation, initially operating out of his bedroom.
Travis understood that individuals in this situation needed independence and provided “Quality of Life Grants”, to purchase adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs, mattresses, and home and vehicle modifications that help paraplegics and quadriplegics live more independently. For someone with a spinal cord injury, having the right equipment can mean the difference between feeling helplessly insufficient as a person and a professional and being independent and capable enough to work and help raise a family. The money raised goes directly to helping the individuals in need of the equipment to help move forward.
In addition to providing fiscal support, Travis was there to provide conversation and counseling to families and their loved ones who were injured. Travis found his passion and purpose, and dedicated his life’s work for others. By the time the Foundation reached its 25th anniversary, it had helped more than 2,000 individuals with grants as well as donations to spinal cord research.
Travis was an inspiration and a wonderful human who helped so many others. He is missed greatly as Travis passed away October 2020. NESN recently released a documentary about Travis, here is an excerpt:
Want to know more?
You can explore more about Panther Cares, the organizations we support and more about our culture on our Panther Cares page.