5 years after Tucson shooting, Gabby Giffords is in action

Gabby Giffords
FILE - In this March 4, 2015, file photo, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords of Arizona gestures as she speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Giffords is being recognized with a Navy ship named in her honor at a shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. Giffords is set to attend the Saturday, June 13, 2015, christening of the USS Gabrielle Giffords. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – In the past five years, Gabby Giffords has hiked the Grand Canyon, gone skydiving, biked in a 40-mile race and founded an advocacy group that helped persuade President Barack Obama to take executive action on gun control.

That’s while recovering from a gunshot wound that nearly killed her.

Friday marks the anniversary of the 2011 shooting at a Tucson, Arizona, constituent event that left six dead and 13 injured, including the former U.S. congresswoman.

Giffords was shot in the head. She has a language disorder known as aphasia, and the right side of her body is largely paralyzed.

The shooter, Jared Loughner, was sentenced to life without parole.

Giffords says her recovery has been a “long, hard haul.” But she says she wakes up every day grateful that she has a second chance at life and a second chance at service.

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