Meet The Team.
Thomas Smith is the first person in medical history to be paralyzed three separate times and recover. A rising hockey star from Massachusetts, Thomas’ first injury was sustained playing the game he loved and many thought it would end his promising career. After months of rehabilitation, he made a one-in-a-million recovery and was cleared to return to the ice to pursue his dreams of playing collegiate hockey. Just one year later, Thomas was skating in team practice and shockingly sustained a second unrelated paralyzing injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He spent over a month in the hospital before beginning outpatient physical therapy and began his second road to recovery. Not even four months later, Thomas was involved in a car accident on his way to physical therapy and was paralyzed for a third time. In just 17 months, Thomas had suffered three separate paralyzing injuries.
In 2009, Thomas co-founded The Thomas E. Smith Foundation with friend Tucker Mullin to better the lives of those affected by and living with paralysis through financial and emotional support. In 2011, he founded The Look-Up LineTM, ice hockey’s first warning track, to decrease the risk of catastrophic injury in hockey. To date, The Look-Up LineTM had been installed in hundreds of ice rinks across North America.
In 2015, Thomas created The Reality Ride Challenge to raise money and awareness for paralysis research. Spanning 2,100+ miles from Boston, MA to Miami, FL, the 38-day cycling event started on March 25, 2015, and was completed on May 1, 2015. Accompanied by friend Teague Egan as well as friends and family along the way, Thomas and Teague cycled on average 65 miles a day, 3 miles a day in a handcycle wheelchair in recognition of Thomas’ three accidents, and walked 1 mile each day as a beacon of hope for the paralysis community. As a result, The Thomas E. Smith Foundation raised $100,000 for research at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
In 2018, Thomas became the first person who has been paralyzed multiple times to complete the Boston Marathon without the use of a wheelchair. He has since completed four Boston Marathons and plans to continue to do so every year to raise money and awareness for the paralysis community. Through the efforts of The Thomas E. Smith Foundation, Thomas and his team have donated $1,000,000+ to individuals with paralysis as well as paralysis research. He currently resides in Marblehead, MA with his fiancé Rachael.