Illinois Senator Mark Kirk returned to Washington today, nearly one year after suffering a stroke.
Kirk climbed the steps of the capitol building in Washington D.C. Thursday morning. 800,000 Americans become stroke victims each year. Today’s symbolic climb of the senate stairs was Mark Kirk’ s journey to give hope to others.
The junior senator from Illinois was welcomed back to work with grandeur, applause and great warmth on a cold Washington day. Vice President Biden was on his right, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia on his left and Senator Dick Durbin close by. With the help of a cane and the encouragement of his fellow members of congress, Kirk made the climb up the capitol steps.
Senators and congressman from coast to coast filled the senate steps, John Kerry from Massachusetts, Al Franken from Minnesota and Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, all of them busy during the holidays with the fiscal cliff hanging in the balance but still they made time for Kirk’s great climb today.
His Chicago doctors and physical therapy team were present, too. Over the past 12 months, they know better than anyone the struggle, both mental and physical, that Kirk has had to endure.