WASHINGTON (PIX11) – A New York City couple will be seated with first lady Jill Biden during the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
New Yorkers Maurice Barron and Kandice Barron are among the roughly two dozen guests invited to sit in the first lady’s viewing box during President Joe Biden’s speech. Each guest was invited by the White House because they represent issues or themes in the president’s speech, or they embody specific Biden administration policies.
The Barrons’ 3-year-old daughter, Ava, is a survivor of a rare form of pediatric cancer, according to the White House. Maurice Barron wrote a letter to President Biden thanking him for his commitment to the Cancer Moonshot initiative.
The Cancer Moonshot initiative’s goal is to reduce the cancer death rate by half within 25 years and improve the lives cancer survivors and people with cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The Barrons received fortunate news in 2020, when doctors declared Ava’s cancer to be in remission.
“Their family’s story is one of hope and possibility, inspiring us to continue working towards a future where we end cancer as we know it,” the White House said in a news release.
In addition to the Barrons, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, Ukraine Ambassador Oksana Markarova and other high-profile guests will be seated with the first lady.
Bono, the lead singer of U2, was invited for his activism in the fights against HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty.
RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, the mother and stepfather of Tyre Nichols, will be in attendance as well. Nichols died after he was severely beaten by multiple police officers during a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee, in January. His death has reignited calls for police reform across the country.
Paul Pelosi, the husband of U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, was also invited to sit with the first lady. Paul Pelosi was violently attacked by an intruder at their California home in fall of 2022.
President Biden will deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m. Watch the State of the Union live on pix11.com