Gabby Giffords and Husband Face New Challenge

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Thursday morning marked the first time in two years that former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords faced Jared Lee Loughner–the man who nearly ended her life. And face him down she did.

“Gabby’s eyes were locked on his the entire time as I read our statement,” said Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly on NBC’s Today Show. “He wasn’t really happy at points, and I almost felt like during that whole few minutes that he and Gabby were having quite the starting contest.”

At Thursday’s federal court sentencing, Loughner was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the January 2011 mass shooting that killed six and wounded thirteen. One of those injured was Giffords, who was shot in the head. Now, two years later, Giffords is left partially blind and with brain inuries — but her slow recovery has inspired her constituents, as well as her husband.

“Her life has been forever changed,” Kelly told Loughner at Thursday’s sentencing. “Plans she had for our family and her career have been immeasurably altered…Every day is a continuous struggle to do those things she once was so good at.”

Despite the tragic circumstances, we couldn’t help but be moved by the strength of Mark and Gabby’s union. Witnesses note that when it came time to confront Loughner, Kelly put his arm around his wife as she limped to the podium. After delivering his statement, the two gingerly kissed before retreating to their seats.

What hardships have you and your partners endured? How much do you rely on him or her during a time of need?

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