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Gabby Giffords rides El Tour De Tucson for special cause

TUCSON — Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was part of El Tour De Tucson this weekend with the Friends of Aphasia. The group is co-founded by Giffords, and works to help those living with the language disorder.

News 4 Tucson caught up with Gifford’s husband, Mark Kelly, who also participated in the ride.

“Gifford’s riding with friends of Aphasia because it’s a challenge that she has when she was shot in January of 2011,” Kelly said. “She has significant brain injury and this organization here in Tucson helps people with other traumatic brain injuries- things like stroke or car accidents. And it’s a great organization.”

According to the Friends of Aphasia, 2 million Americans are affected by the disorder, but 84 percent of people have never even heard of it.

“It’s a great organization and I’m out here just because this is one of the highlights here in Tucson and it’s a chance to meet more of our community here and do something that’s a lot of fun,” Kelly said.

Both Kelly and Giffords rode in a group from the Marana segment that goes for 25 miles.

“Gabby and I are really excited to be here. She does this every year, and every other year for me, and we’re ready for 25 miles,” said Kelly.

So what’s the most challenging part of the race?

“We have a big group and I think the biggest challenge is keeping everybody together and not leaving behind any stragglers, and making sure we could fix any broken bikes that we have,” Kelly said.

For more information on the Friends of Aphasia or if you’d like to donate click here.

Denelle Confair

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