Sunday, January 22, 2012

Giffords Steps Down, Sets Bar High

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Today, in a video message, Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords announced she will be stepping down from office to focus on her recovery this week. Giffords was shot in the head on January 8, 2011 while conducting a Congress on  Your Corner event in Tucson.

In my opinion, this is just another example of her bravery during her recovery. I had a very good friend suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 1998. It was recommended to her not to make any big life changes for a year so that she could get a good feel of what progress could be made. The first year tells a lot about someone's recovery from a TBI. Gabby's progress has been amazing, miraculous in fact. But the fact remains that with TBIs there is always a before and after. Things will never be like before and you won't know what the after looks like for a very long time. Bravery is looking at the after and realizing, this is a new life now - what will I do with it.

Seeing Gabby so full of life in this video - so strong - only shows that there will be a lot in her after. She has the best medical team around her and such a strong family support system that I have no doubt she will continue to make progress in her recovery. However, it is so clear that Gabby's dedication to her constituents is so strong that she would want them to have the best representation they could. In my opinion she is making this choice at the right time after giving her recovery a good period of time to see where she could be.

Gabby will continue to serve Arizona. She will be someone for us to always look to as to how to be a public servant. She has set the bar high and I only hope those in office now and those yet to come will strive to reach for that bar.
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