Gabby Giffords

Gabby Giffords and Aphasia at the Democratic National Convention

Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, the speech that Gabby Giffords gave at the Democratic National Convention was groundbreaking. Aphasia featured front and center as Gabby Giffords discussed her struggles with paralysis and aphasia following a traumatic head injury from a gunshot wound. She delivered her words beautifully, educating the general public on the meaning of aphasia.

Her words begin after a short introduction putting her story in context:

I’ve known the darkest of days. Days of pain and uncertain recovery. Confronted by despair, I’ve summoned hope. Confronted by paralysis and aphasia, I responded with grit and determination. I put one foot in front of the other. I found one word, and then I found another. My recovery is a daily fight, but fighting makes me stronger. Words once came easily, but today I struggle to speak. But I have not lost my voice. America needs all of us to speak out, even when you have to fight to find the words.

The Aphasia Community Response

We discussed her speech during our last aphasia cafe chat. 95% of people on the call were glad that Gabby Giffords used her time on the national stage to shine a light on aphasia.

We asked people to describe how they felt hearing her words. There were the accolades: wonderful, terrific, inspiring, awesome, great, and groundbreaking. But there was also gratitude expressed. One person called her an ambassador, and another said that it made her feel less alone. Moreover, many agreed that they felt moved to be an advocate, too, even if it’s in their day-to-day life and not on a national stage.

How did you feel hearing Gabby Giffords share her story and shine a light on aphasia? Tell us in the comments below.

Image: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA


One Comment

  • Diane Hinkle
    April 8, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    I have been looking for that word for years. Aphasia. I just learned it from listening to news about Gabby Gifford. I suffered a leaking brain aneurysm that finally got so big it crushed a nerve behind my left eye. That caused my eye to dilate, look as far to the left as it could and close tightly. I had surgery where the bone was removed from the left side of my head, the aneurysm clipped and I was put back together. I could not see and could not complete a sentence because I could not remember what I wanted to say. Embarrassed. I got better, I struggled, but now, 30 years later, I still have problems with words. I know what I want to say but the word or words won’t come. I’ve learned to just change the entire subject. Most people don’t notice what I do. But I never knew the word of what is wrong with me. I just learned it. APHASIA, thank you!

We'd love to hear your thoughts below! If you have a question for the NAA, we can give you an answer if you write us directly at Please note: inappropriate comments will be moderated.

Your email is never published nor shared.