We were very fortunate to be able to meet Bob and Lee Woodruff when they came to Cincinnati for an event titled “An Evening with the Woodruffs” which supported The Drake Center. They were very gracious and asked us to meet them in their room between events. We got to spend about a half hour with them and we came away feeling like we had been friends forever they were so nice and caring.
Bob and Ashleigh had a special bond as soon as they met. Bob held her hand for a long time and Ashleigh had a big grin on her face. My wife had contacted Lee and other family members before by phone and email after Bob’s injury to try to provide any help or comfort we could provide and this led to their invitation.
We stayed for the dinner event and Ashleigh was really worn out by the time we got home that night. However, in the middle of the night when my wife was tending to her, Ashleigh did more talking. My wife asked her if she had enjoyed herself and Ashleigh said yes. My wife asked her what her favorite part was and Ashleigh said “Having Bob and Lee to ourselves” She then said meeting Carol Williams and meeting all of the nice folks at our tables was the next best part.
A funny thing happened after Bob and Lee had to leave our visit to go down to a VIP book signing event. After the VIP book signing was the dinner and their speech. Bob and Lee asked if we would like to stay in their room until we went down to the dinner so Ashleigh would be more comfortable. We stayed for a while and then decided to head downstairs for the dinner. However, when we got on the elevator we were busy getting situated and before we even pushed the floor button the elevator stopped and the door opened. A lady, who we learned was from The Drake, was in the hall and asked if this was Ashleigh. We said yes, and she said come out and join the others. It turned out to be the VIP book signing and so we went in and had some hors devours and sodas while hobnobbing with the sponsors who paid hundreds or thousands to be there.
While at the book signing my wife ran into Carol Williams, a local TV anchor who was emceeing the event, and my wife asked if she would come over to meet Ash. But, before she could came over we were all asked to go downstairs for the dinner. Ms. Williams was very nice and went through the trouble of seeking us out later in the crowded dining room and came over to meet Ashleigh. She did not have to go to the extra effort and we really appreciate it.
In January 2006, ABC News Anchor/Reporter Bob Woodruff became an American news anchor wounded in a war zone when he sustained a life-threatening traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a roadside bomb in Iraq. Bob and his wife Lee, author, freelance writer, and contributing editor at ABC’s Good Morning America, chronicled their family’s journey to recovery in the best-selling memoir In An Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing. The Woodruffs have since dedicated themselves to putting a face on the serious issue of TBI, especially among America’s injured military personnel. They have formed The Bob Woodruff Family Fund to support this cause.