On January 16, 2013, Jack Trottier experienced a spinal cord injury while snowboarding. The burst fracture of his C6 vertebrae caused paralysis from the chest down. After emergency surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, Jack spent 9 days in intensive care to stabilize his spine and autonomic functions. He then traveled to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for 13 weeks of intense rehabilitation. Jack subsequently returned home and began his senior year of High School in Tyngsboro, MA that fall.
After graduation, Jack enrolled at UMASS-Lowell to earn a degree in business, graduating in 2019. Since his injury, Jack has graduated from college, relearned how to drive, completed the Baystate Marathon using a hand-cycle, continued coaching high school football, published a book, and started working selling adaptive vehicles. His family and community have supported him since the beginning. Now, he looks to assist those who navigate a similar experience
January 16, 2023, marked the tenth anniversary of Jack’s spinal cord injury. Reflecting on ten years post-injury, Jack stated, “It’s also been ten years since I was discharged from the Shepherd Center, a complex rehab facility for spinal cord injury and other neurological impairments. I knew I needed to return, and this milestone felt right to me.”
Since August, Jack and his team have been planning a major event to not only commemorate ten years but to raise funds and awareness for his nonprofit organization, the Jack Trottier Foundation. They have partnered with the High Fives Foundation to prepare for Jack to ride an adaptive hand cycle from Massachusetts to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
The trip traverses 11 states and more than 1,200 miles. The goal is 50 miles a day — to finish in 4 weeks. Departure from MA began May 20, 2023 and he is estimated to arrive mid-June. The funds raised during this campaignwill support the kids of the adolescent team (patients under the age of 18) at Shepherd, who are at the beginning of an uphill battle through paralysis. In 2013, Jack spent 11 weeks in inpatient rehab on the adolescent team that shaped the beginning of his recovery.
“High Fives is an incredible organization that I became a part of through my involvement in adaptive action sports a decade ago. Given the nature of this endurance ride, we couldn’t think of a better organization to share the experience with. Taken from their mission, “High Fives focuses on preventing life-changing injuries and provides resources and hope if they happen.” Please visit their website to see what limits they help adaptive athletes overcome,” said Jack.
To learn more about the Jack Trottier Foundation, please visit: https://www.jacktrottierfoundation.org/
To learn more about the High Fives Foundation, please visit: https://highfivesfoundation.org/