The shooting of Gabby Giffords may have left her partially paralyzed, but she and her husband, Mark Kelly, just rode bikes 40 miles in the 2015 El Tour de Tucson, an annual charity bike ride event. Giffords may continue to suffer physically from the actions of shooter Jared Lee Loughner, but mentally, she is doing great. She wants to take on such physically challenging tasks in order to encourage others who are going through similar hardships.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, despite being in favor of gun control, Gabby Giffords’ seat as an Arizona congresswoman was eventually taken by Martha McSally, who is a pro-gun U.S. Air Force veteran.
In 2011, a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, killed six people and injured 12 others. Among those was Giffords, who was shot in the head by Loughner. The shooter was sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder, but Giffords also suffers from paralysis in her right leg and arm, poor eyesight, and speech difficulties.
Over time, Giffords has recovered from her injuries, slowly learning to walk again. In January of 2014, Giffords and her husband even marked the third anniversary of her shooting by going skydiving.
“[I’m] stronger now,” Giffords said at the time. “I’m winning back movement in my right arm. So I have the opportunity to do something I love: skydiving.”
Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly are at it again in 2015. She decided to take on the longer route during the 2015 El Tour de Tucson, whereas last year she settled with challenging the 11-mile portion of the annual bike ride event.
“Mark and I are so excited to be back riding in the El Tour again, and to join with so many of our fellow Tucsonans and with people from around the world for a ride around our community,” she said, according to the Associated Press.
Giffords has been training for long bike rides several times a week during 2015 in order to prepare for the 40 mile long route.
“My recovery has been full of milestones both big and small, and a big one was getting back on my bike and back to riding around this gorgeous city of ours with friends and family,” Giffords explained. “But I kept working hard, and I’m ready.”
She also explained that she took on such a difficult challenge not only for herself, but also to show “everyone recovering from an injury or setback to know that determination and a little grit can take you a long, long way, and help you achieve things you might have thought were impossible.”
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) November 20, 2015
Gabby Giffords completed the 2015 Tour de Tucson as planned using her specially retrofitted recumbent bike. Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, used a normally configured bike during the event.
— Mamta Popat (@mamtapopat) November 21, 2015
— Mark Kelly (@ShuttleCDRKelly) November 21, 2015
— Keaton Thomas KGUN9 (@keaton_thomas) November 21, 2015
— Mark Kelly (@ShuttleCDRKelly) November 22, 2015
— Neal Rogers (@nealrogers) November 22, 2015
[Image via Gabby Gifford/Twitter]