Vail Today: Celebration of Life Luncheon offers message of hope (video)
Tricia Swenson | Vail Today
If you’re looking for inspiration, attend a luncheon put on by the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. Their annual fundraiser always features speakers whose stories will spark hope no matter what you are going through.Lee Woodruff is used to sharing stories. As a broadcast journalist, award-winning author and successful business woman, she’s told other people’s stories, but her own story changed in an instant when her husband, ABC’s World News Tonight anchor, Bob Woodruff, was severely injured in a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq in 2006.Lee Woodruff’s life was turned upside down as she juggled being a mom to four young children and being there for her husband during his lengthy recovery all while holding a place for hope in her heart. Her journaling while Bob was recovering was crafted into an 800-page book called “In an Instant”.During her talk, Woodruff recounted how there wasn’t one doctor who believed her husband would go back to work, or lead a semi-normal life. “We had to create our own hope. But one thing I always tell my friends who are doctors when delivering news is that they need to take a page from the nurses because the nurses could tell me stories. None of them could say he was going to be fine eventually, or that he’ll be back reporting news, but they could tell me about the guy who had been in recently who no one thought could do x, y, or z, but now he is able to read a book to his child,” said Woodruff.“I share with you the importance of story telling because by sharing your story with somebody else, you’re able to put another notch on that rope of hope that pulls you out of the dark place,” said Woodruff.Whether it’s the news she received about her husband and his traumatic injuries, a death of a loved one or a breast cancer diagnosis, Woodruff explained how even if you share a story that reaches one or two people, it begins to have a ripple effect beyond our communities and you see a sense of collective impact.Lee and Bob Woodruff started the Bob Woodruff Foundation over a decade ago and have raised over $40 million for wounded veterans. “Our life has been dedicated to helping veterans who have been injured and their families. It was important for us to tell their stories after seeing the injuries that these families have to endure and what happens when they get home,” said Woodruff.Woodruff applauded those who attended the Celebration of Life Luncheon. “Thank you for being those who have enough and being willing to give some to those who so desperately need care here in your valley, what a wonderful community.”Proceeds from the luncheon, which was held on July 21st at the Marriott in Vail, will go toward a new technique called Reflective Device Technology, which marks tumors before breast cancer surgery. The Shaw Regional Cancer Center will begin using this technology in the fall. Learn more about the luncheon and this local nonprofit by visiting http://www.vailbreastcancerawareness.org.
Melina Valsecia said her experience as an immigrant in Eagle County helped her understand the need for a new way of looking at how service providers engage with the growing Latino population, many of whom are first- or second-generation immigrants.