The New England community lost a beloved family member Thursday when Travis Roy died at age 45.
Roy suffered a spinal cord injury 11 seconds into his Boston University hockey career in 1995 that left him paralyzed. His philanthropy and motivational speaking has helped and inspired millions of people going through similar situations.
Players and teams across the sports landscape sent their thoughts and prayers to Roy's family and friends Thursday night. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick opened up his Friday morning press conference by sending his condolences to Roy's family.
“On behalf of the team, pass along our condolences to Travis Roy’s family," Belichick said. "He’s been such a great inspirational story to all of us, nationally, but certainly in this area. His positive outlook and the way he handled his difficult situation was just incredible. Glad I had an opportunity to interact a little bit with him and his foundation. Just a sad day for a kid that went through so much and handled it in an incredibly positive way.”
Belichick was always impressed with Roy's dedication and overall approach to life.
“We supported their foundation. I wouldn't say there was a lot of direct interaction -- our family has some connections with the foundation as well. We’ve been supportive, as everybody has in this area, and again, just a lot of admiration and respect for Travis and what he did and his approach to life.”
Boston Bruins president Cam Neely summed up Roy's remarkable impact in a statement released by the team Thursday.
“Travis Roy was the ultimate symbol of determination and courage,” Neely said. “The impact that Travis had on the New England hockey community is immeasurable, and his relentless advocacy for spinal cord research was inspiring.”