My Guest For The State Of The
Every year I have the
opportunity to invite one guest to the State of the Union. This year, I
invited a 12-year-old boy named Jackson Cunningham because he's my
"I want it all back."
It all started with a basketball game at Jackson's school. He
was going to spend the day at his grandparents afterwards. While
playing outside he didn't feel well. He went inside and got sick. He lost
control of his left side and was taken to the hospital. Tests were run
with no results. Jackson's pediatrician came to the hospital and
immediately had him moved to another hospital. There the life altering news
was delivered - Jackson had a stroke.
Half of Jackson's
skull was removed during surgery, but he was undeterred. A doctor asked
Jackson what he wanted to get out of therapy. His answer was "I want it
A year later, I suffered a stroke. I began
rehab just as Jackson had - determined to make a full recovery. That's
when I received a letter from Jackson:
"Do not give up on yourself. All the
hard work is worth it."
Jackson's advice inspired me to work even harder and its one
of the reasons I'm at the State of the Union today. Now 12, Jackson's
rehab has paid off also. I am inspired daily by his perseverance. Each
step he takes is a reminder of the everyday heroes I am fighting for
I am honored to have Jackson join me at the
State of the Union and for the opportunity to share his amazing story.
I hope his visit will show him and other stroke survivors that having
a stroke doesn't have to limit your potential.
the leading cause of disability for adults in the United States, but it
shouldn't mean the end to a productive life. Survivors deserve better.
It is my mission to create a standard of care to optimize the entire
rehabilitation system�by transforming the way researchers, doctors,
therapists and hospitals care for patients with neurological disorders
and injuries�to give others the opportunity to have the absolute best
quality of care possible.
Please take a few moments to learn
more about Jackson and to share his inspiring message with
To learn more about my work
on your behalf, please .
For real-time updates, please join me on social media:
It is an honor to represent you in the
Very Truly Yours,
P.S. Ever year, I sit with Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.)
at the State of the Union. .