Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk climbs Willis Tower stairs - FOX 32 News Chicago

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk climbs Willis Tower stairs

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was met with hugs and cheers as he reached a stair-climbing event's finish line on the 103rd floor of Chicago's Willis Tower.

It was his first public appearance since suffering a major stroke in January. The "SkyRise Chicago" charity fundraiser Sunday was hosted by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he receives treatment.

Kirk started walking from the 66th floor. He wore a brace on his left leg and gripped a handrail as he scaled the stairs.

His progress was monitored by a physical therapist, who said Kirk did not need any assistance.

The 53-year-old Republican senator has been releasing videos on his progress, including footage of him working with therapists and climbing stairs.

He continues to undergo rehabilitation.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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