Jamie Dupree: “I will never, ever give up”

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Normally, I’m not at a loss for words.

Whether it’s on the radio, on Twitter, or on my blog, I churn out copy at all hours of the day and night.

But as I sit here at my dinner table (still clad in my tuxedo) after arriving home from an awards ceremony with hundreds of my reporting colleagues in Washington, I honestly don’t know what to say.

So, the best thing to do is let others speak for me.

What happened on Wednesday night was the Radio Television Correspondent’s Association – which credentials reporters on Capitol Hill – honored me with a ‘Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress.’

What makes the story more powerful is that it comes after an over two year struggle – still ongoing – which has resulted in me losing my voice.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) – who went to the House floor a year ago to help generate attention for my medical troubles – took the time to come to our annual dinner to present me with the award.

“When life said to be quiet, Jamie found a way to speak louder than ever before,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “He is an example for every American faced with overwhelming adversity.”

Since being told last week that I was getting this award, I had spent a lot of time thinking about what I was going to say – because I can barely talk.

I settled on something simple, and practiced it over and over during my drive to and from work.

“I will never, ever give up.”

That’s how I feel. And it certainly made an impact.


I asked my long time friend and colleague Dana Bash of CNN to join me on stage to read my remarks for me; Dana was a producer for CNN when we first met back during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Now she is a force on cable news.

She was the perfect person to make my voice heard, though Dana was near tears as we stepped to the podium, and so was I.

And judging from the reaction after the speech there were a lot of other people with the same feeling.

I don’t know what’s wrong with my voice.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to speak normally again.

But I know what I feel.

“I will never, ever give up.”