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Young Florida self-advocate bonds with Congressman

December 17, 2015

(Above, Jack Garchik on his way to meet Congressman Murphy)

Last year, eleven-year-old autism self-advocate from Florida, Jack Garchik was introduced to Congressman Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18) at the Palm Beach Walk. The two were introduced by Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright.

One year later, Jack recognized Rep. Murphy and reintroduced himself at a chance meeting the DC airport: "Are you Congressman Murphy? I remember you. I met you at the PB walk.” 

Congressman Murphy was so impressed with Jack's memory and for saying hello that he invited Jack to come by his office during his visit to the District. The pair soon bonded over football, politics and Autism Speaks.

In his office later that week, Murphy and his staff welcomed Jack, his mother Marla Garchik (co-chair of Palm Beach and DC walks) as well as his aunt Margie Halem (DC Walk and Potomac 5k walk co-chair) and Jack’s cousin, Sam Halem.

Jack shared his experience with meeting Representative Murphy and visiting the Capitol, "I had an awesome day. Patrick Murphy and I have some things in common. He likes people to be kind to people with Autism and so do I."

The special visit included the once-in-a-lifetime chance to join Rep. Murphy on the House floor for a vote. The visit also included a chance to take a photo on the steps of the Capitol with another member of the Florida delegation, Representative Gwen Graham.

Jacks mother Marla added, "Congressman Murphy's kindness and acceptance made Jack feel special."

The Congressman also asked Jack if he could walk with him and Jack Garchik's Crew at the Palm Beach walk in March. Jack said yes.