Brayden Harrington, a 13-year-old, who spoke on the final night of the Democratic National Convention about how the party’s presidential nominee, Joe Biden has made him feel more confident about his stutter.
At a campaign event in New Hampshire in February, they met. After they first spoke on the rope line, the former vice president invited Brayden backstage to continue their conversation about stuttering and told him about how he has worked to overcome his own stutter.
Flipping around the piece of paper he was reading to show the markings on his speech, Brayden said “He showed me how me marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud, so I did the same thing today.”
Bide, who has said he still occasionally catches himself stuttering, showed Brayden a copy of the campaign speech he had just delivered in New Hampshire with markings showing where he could take breaks between words.
Brayden said, “I am just a regular kid and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me feel more confident about something that has bothered me my whole life. Joe Biden cared. Imagine what he could do for all of us. Kids like me are counting on you to elect someone we can all look up to. Someone who cares, someone who can make our country and the whole world feel better, we are counting on you to elect joe Biden.”
Owen Harrington, his father, told at the time that Biden “put his focus on Brayden and made time for him, talked to him, explained that it does not define him, he is stronger that he is a good person. It was really overwhelming for Brayden. He started breaking down a little bit.”
Biden said at the town hall that he keeps in contact with about 15 people who stutter, and he tells them it is critically important that they don’t let their stutter define them. When he met Brayden, Biden asked him for his phone number and he said he would call to check on him.
Biden also said that, he did not receive professional help for his stutter but practices in the mirror for hours on end reciting poetry written by Irish poets like William Butler Yeats, He also credited his mother when it came to not letting his stutter define him.
Biden said, “you know stuttering when you think about it, is only handicap that people still laugh about. That humiliate people about, and they don’t even mean to.” in Town Hall, in February, Biden offered a rare lengthy and personal reflection on how his stutter has affected his life.