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Updated Jan 15, 2014 - 6:33 am

Arizona lawmaker heads back to legislature after stroke

Arizona State Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman, gets a standing ovation while speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives prior to Gov. Jan Brewer's State of the State address at the Arizona Capitol Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, in Phoenix. The Republican representative suffered a stroke last year. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX -- Arizona state lawmakers are returning to the state capitol this week to deal with the challenges facing the state, but one state lawmaker is overcoming her own challenges while she gets back on the job.

Doris Goodale, 64, is a Republican state representative from Kingman, who is the chair of the House Education Committee.

She suffered a major crisis last September.

"I had a stroke on September 29th," Goodale said. "It was due to a blocked carotid artery and a high cholesterol level."

Not to mention stress.

In addition to a pressure-packed legislative session, her husband of 38 years passed away. The Phoenix New Times also reported that in 2012, Kingman police arrested her son and daughter for heroin trafficking.

Goodale said she is working hard to recover.

"I am attending physical, occupational and speech therapy three times a week and just fighting hard to get back," said Goodale.

Goodale used to drive herself to Phoenix for the legislative session, but now she'll rely on family members to bring her. She vowed that the condition won't cause her to miss any votes.

"I'm looking forward to this," Goodale said. "I'm working on a drug prescription bill that I think is very important to our state."

That bill would require doctors to asses a patient's addiction risk before writing a prescription for certain drugs.

"I'm a hard charger. I don't just sit back. I keep going," she said.

Goodale said she is getting a lot of help from a photograph of Todd Graham, head football coach at Arizona State University. Before the stroke, Graham posed for a picture with her and wrote, "Be determined and stick with it." Her sister brought that picture to the hospital and it serves as inspiration for her.

Not only is Goodale heading back to the legislature this year, but she also plans to run for re-election.

"I am very honored being a state representative. I love Arizona, and I am very honored to help Arizona," she said.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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