Boston Bruins

Matt Brown Inspiring Others 10 Years After Hockey Injury Left Him Paralyzed

It has been 10 years since Matt Brown was paralyzed while playing for the Norwood High School hockey team, and his mantra — "Never quit" — has brought him far

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Walk into Matt Brown's basement — or his man cave, as he calls it — and you'll find 10 years of love and support hanging on the walls.

That includes signed pictures of his friends, like former Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and All-Star center Patrice Bergeron.

"Andrew is more big brother-little brother, Patrice is more friend-friend," Brown said.

It's not the way you want to make famous friends. These bonds were forged by a break — a hit that paralyzed Brown when he was just 15, playing for Norwood High School's hockey team.

This January marked 10 years since that hit that changed his life.

"If you look back, it feels like the blink of an eye or a century," Brown said. "There's really no in-between."

But what he's packed into that blink of an eye is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

He graduated high school and college, and is working toward his master's degree.

"Yeah. Nerd," Brown said when asked about his academic career.

What's next after that?

"I don't know what the future holds," Brown said.

Brown's book, "Line Change," is changing lives. It's the story of resilience in the face of adversity — in his case, his injury. But the story is relatable for anyone who has ever struggled with anything.

"It really means everything. I'm very happy that I put some of the darkest moments out there for people to read, to realize that everyone goes through it," he said.

This April, he'll take part in his 10th marathon — his seventh Boston Marathon — with longtime friend Lucas Carr.

"To get out there and feel the wind in your face, and get back in that competitive spirit, it means everything," Brown said.

Brown knows he owes his strength, in part, to his support system — his family and friends. But perhaps the thing he's most proud of is his latest goal — the Matt Brown Foundation, which will help others with spinal chord injuries get the help he got when he needed it most.

"Now it's time for us to be there. For someone to say, 'Yeah, you know, the Matt Brown Foundation helped us out," he said.

And if you've spent any time with Brown at all, you won't be surprised that, at 25, he's shifting his energy to giving back while still moving forward on his own journey.

"No matter what you're going through, no matter what you're facing, it's never quit. Never quit," Brown said. "On the ice, on my road to recovery, in everyday life, it's never quit."

In that spirit, Brown still has a goal of once again walking someday. He does physical therapy three times a week, every week, in the hopes of making his wheelchair just a piece of furniture in his man cave.

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