I am excited to announce that I will be running in the 2020 Boston Marathon to benefit the Travis Roy Foundation (TRF). For those who do not know him, Travis Roy was a young hopeful in the world of ice hockey who in the fall of 1995, just eleven seconds into his first ever shift for the Boston University Terrier's hockey team, accidently crashed head first into the boards resulting in a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down at the age of 20 years old.
Growing up playing hockey in the Boston area, every kid's dream is to someday play for Boston University or Boston College. I was just learning how to skate when Travis had his accident. His accident had a profound effect on the way I played hockey and approached life. In the end, accidents happen and life can change in an instant. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I approached every shift, every test, and every day like it was my last. I gave it my all and to this day still live by this mentality.
There is another reason why this foundation is so important to me. On a beautiful summer day in July 1971, my uncle, Terry Finnigan, at the age of 15 broke his neck diving off the Kings Beach seawall on Lynn Shore Drive in Lynn, Massachusetts. Tragically, my uncle succumbed to his injuries 9 days after the accident as a result of an exploratory surgery that was meant to repair his spinal cord. He left a younger brother (my father), older sister, and two devastated parents. The years that followed were not easy for my family. However, they were able to overcome these dark days and I can say today I am the luckiest man in the world to have these people in my life. I am my uncle's namesake.
Running the Boston Marathon has always been a life-long dream of mine. To be able to run for the Travis Roy Foundation is truly an honor that I will never forget. For over 20 years, the TRF has raised money to fund spinal cord research and to provide adaptive equipment grants to spinal cord injured (SCI) survivors. As much as every person with paralysis would like to walk again, the TRF recognizes there are many SCI survivors who have more immediate and pressing needs. Through the purchase of wheelchairs, voice-activated computers, simple home modifications, and other adaptive equipment, the Travis Roy Foundation provides increased independence to our grantees today, as they wait for research to come to fruition tomorrow. On behalf of the TRF and my family I truly appreciate any contribution that you are able to make. Every little bit can make a difference and someday we will hopefully find a cure for paralysis.
Thank you all and happy holidays!