Rick Hoyt was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt. During child birth, Rick's umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck cutting off the supply of oxygen to Rick's brian. He was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Doctors advised Dick and Judy to institutionalize Rick because he was a vegetable. Dick and Judy refused and brought Rick home.
Dick and Judy could tell that Rick could comprehend his surroundings even though the medical doctors continued to insist Rick was a vegetable. In 1972, the Hoyts raised $5,000 through bake sales, a local dinner dance and donations from friends and family. They paid that amount to a group of skilled engineers at Tufts University that built an "interactive computer" for Rick. Rick was able to see the letters of the alphabet and select the ones he wanted by pressing a pad on the headrest of his wheelchair with his head, the only part of his body he can move voluntarily. The first words Rick ever "spoke" were "Go Bruins!" The Boston Bruins were in the Stanley Cup that year and it turned out Rick was a Bruins fan.
In the spring of 1977, Rick told his dad that he wanted to compete in a 5 mile road race to help raise money for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Dick, a non-runner pushed Rick for the full 5 miles, and they finished next to last. Later that night, Rick typed "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped." And that is when it all started.
To date, Team Hoyt has finished 240 triathlons, 6 Ironman distance triathlons, 92 half marathons, 69 marathons, 32 Falmouth 7.1 milers, have a marathon PR of 2:40:47 and half marathon PR of 1:21:12. They are two of only 27 total members of the Ironman Hall of Fame, carried the Olympic torch in 1996 and in 1992 they ran and rode a bike from Santa Monica, CA to Boston Harbor in 45 consecutive days.
Last August, the Hoyt's received an e-mail from Boston Bruins' defenseman Andrew Ference that read, "I wanted to let you know that the Boston Bruins watched and were inspired by your video prior to our Stanley Cup victory. It would be my honor to meet you and have you join me in Boston during my day with the Stanley Cup." And they did.
On Monday, April 15, 2013, Dick and Rick Hoyt will be running their 31st Boston Marathon. They will be joined by a team of 30 carefully selected athletes from Canada and across the United States to form the 2013 Team Hoyt Boston Marathon Team. The team will be runningt to raise money for the Hoyt Foundation, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) charity whose purpose is help integrate handicapped people into everyday activities so they may live fruitful and productive lives.
None of the funds raised go to administration of the Hoyt Foundation as it is 100% run by volunteers. The Hoyt Foundation gives gifts each year of $25,000 to the Easter Seals of MA. summer camp programs, to Children's Hospital Boston- Augmentative Communication Enhancement Program, and to the Elm Hill Center in Brookfield, MA. The Foundation also makes various donations to camps for the disabled and therapuetic horseback organizations in the Massachusetts area.
This years team is made possible by our generous sponsor and principal sponsor of the Boston MArathon, John Hancock.
Our team of both qualified and chairty runners have set a fundraising goal of $125,000. Please give generously as our runners train, sweat, hurt and raise funds for the Hoyt Foundation, Inc. The Hoyt Foundation, Inc. is an IRS 501(c)(3) charity. Checks can be made payable to the Hoyt Foundation, Inc. and mailed to 241 Mashapaug Road, Holland, Massachusetts 01521.