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Spinal Cord Injury Research Advocate at Keene State College

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KEENE, N.H. 4/3/06 – On Wednesday, April 12, Travis Roy, the author of Eleven Seconds: A Story of Tragedy, Courage, and Triumph, will speak in the Mabel Brown Room, Student Center, at 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.

Travis Roy put on his first ice skates at just 20 months old. Eleven seconds into the first shift of his first collegiate hockey game, Roy crashed into the boards and cracked his fourth and fifth Cervical vertebra, paralyzing him from the neck down.

With the support of his family, friends, and a Boston University hockey coach, Travis persevered with an intense Rehabilitation program that helped him regain limited use of his right hand. He learned to operate a motorized wheelchair, and gained a sense of freedom despite his Disability.

Coming to grips with his life as a quadriplegic, he returned to Boston University less than a year after his accident and graduated four years later with a degree in public relations from Boston University’s College of Communication. His autobiography, Eleven Seconds, now in its sixth printing, chronicles his triumph over personal tragedy.

The title of Roy’s lecture is “Eleven Seconds: A Change in Plans.” An articulate advocate for individuals living with spinal cord injuries, Roy is a frequent speaker about the hope that research carries and the need for increased funding. In 1997, he founded the Travis Roy Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and provides grants to spinal cord injury survivors in financial need, helping them to purchase costly adaptive equipment necessary to live more active and independent lives. The foundation has distributed more than $1.5 million for individual grants, research projects, and rehabilitation institutions across North America. The individual grant funds have been used to modify vans and Eleven Seconds to purchase wheelchairs, computers, ramps, shower chairs, and other adaptive equipment to help quadriplegics and paraplegics live their lives.

This lecture is part of Keene State College’s Diverse Voices from the Field lecture series, which is dedicated to bringing speakers who represent diversity in education to the College. For more information call Felicia Favreau at 603-358-2301.

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