After a spinal cord injury, we all find our own way of moving forward, and for Senator Tom Kennedy his way forward was through politics. His hometown mayor recruited him after his injury where he found politics and a sense of purpose; something he was aching for.
But he didn’t decide to run right way, he was just happy to help out, learning and observing, but soon this quad became a State Representative in the House for his home state of Massachusetts, making disability history. Read on for more on the tenacity of Sen. Tom Kennedy.
Why he’s fearless
Sen. Tom Kennedy grow up in the city of Brockton, a historic ward south of Boston. Brockton is one of those cities that creates tough individuals, from boxer Rocky Marciano to Rev. John Sheehan, O.M.I., a heroic missionary priest from World War II. Tom Kennedy is definitely one of them.
An Irish descendant of WWI immigrants, he was raised in the Catholic faith on his family’s longtime homestead, where he still lives till this day. He was even planning on becoming a priest, and was in seminary school at the time of his injury.
But at the age of 19 while studying to become a priest, he broke his neck in a window washing accident, becoming a C5 quad. Sadly, he had to abandon his dream of becoming a priest since his fingers were paralyzed and it would be near impossible for him to deliver the sacrament.
Tom was injured in 1971, and the medical world at the time kept people in the hospital for much longer periods. He was in and out of the hospital for over three years, and finally after returning home to Brockton in 1973, one of the best things that could’ve happened occurred to him did – he found purpose . Newly elected mayor of his hometown, David Crosby, invited him to join his staff (Thomas’ family was friends with Crosby’s family) and the rest is history.
“It made me feel I was worth something to someone somewhere,” he says about the opportunity. “At that time, I wasn’t able to do anything. I could barely write my name.” Soon he envisioned himself in politics himself and in 1977 after campaigning door-to-door in his wheelchair, he was elected to the City Council of Brockton. And five years later, he won a state representative seat, which he held for over 25 years.
A democrat known for supporting children and anti-drug legislation, he’s also been working hard to make Uber accessible in his hometown. His Uber legislation is some of his latest political work, which he is now doing as state senator of Massachusetts; an office he’s held since 2010.
Senator Tom Kennedy definitely has a nice ring to it. He is the current State Senator of the 2nd Plymouth & Bristol Districts, going strong and is quite the popular politician. Known for his great speech delivery with his Bostonian accent and his deep connection to his hometown, it’s hard not to love Sen. Tom Kennedy.
He’s one of the few quadriplegics in the world to hold such a high political office. Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan and US Representative James Langevin of Rhode Island are the only two other politicians in the world to meet these requirements. We are loving this trend!
Would you do politics with a SCI?
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