Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” helped Gabby Giffords tremendously.
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In 2011, just weeks after Giffords was shot during a campaign rally, the former congresswoman and shooting survivor learned how to speak again thanks to Lauper’s hit song. Julie Cohen and Betsy West, the filmmakers behind the new documentary Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down, stopped by The New Abnormal podcast to explain how.
“The film shows this process and also how the heroic speech pathologist worked with Gabby to access words and often used music to do that,” Cohen said on the podcast. “There’s some pretty incredible footage from early on in Gabby’s rehabilitation where she’s with a nurse and a speech pathologist in these early days of really struggling to regain any language. And she’s just like belting out, ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun.’” According to the podcast episode, Giffords hasn’t stopped living her best life despite her circumstances. “She has a very full life, very active. She’s really devoted to taking care of herself,” West added.
The filmmakers further discussed how the former congresswoman has worked to overcome her aphasia, a language disorder that affects a person's ability to communicate. Cohen says nowadays Giffords recites nearly flawless speeches. “She has an incredible memory. So once she knows a speech, she can give a two-minute speech cold with no notes or no anything.”