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Friday, January 27, 2012

Minnesota State Senator Gary Kubly has ALS and spoke on their first day in session using his iPad

Minnesota State Senator Gary Kubly has ALS and spoke on their first day in session using his iPad

http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2012/01/25/34600/human_moments_dominate_minnesota_senates_first_day

Human moments dominate Minnesota Senate's first day
By Doug Grow | Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012
 
The Senate chamber, typically a place filled with the buzz of dozens of conversations, was totally quiet Tuesday afternoon.

Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, was speaking, and the other 66 senators were trying hard to understand the words he was saying. There were sounds filled with passion coming from Kubly's lips, but the words were unintelligible.

Kubly was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) 18 months ago. The awful progress of the disease was painfully obvious for all to see and hear. Only a few months ago, Kubly was much easier to understand, and he could move around with the aid of a walker.
 
Now at the start of this new session — which will be Kubly's last — his colleagues strained to hear.
After he had uttered a few sentences, he pushed a button on an iPad. He had typed what he had spoken, and now the machine was doing the talking for him.

"I'd like to thank all the members and the staff for all they have done for me," the automated voice said.
He uttered/typed a few more phrases of appreciation, hit the button, and the automated voice flatly repeated them. There was a moment of silence — then, a long, sincere standing ovation.

It was one of those movingly human moments that brought everyone together.

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