Lee Woodruff, the best-selling author and wife of Bob Woodruff, who was seriously injured while covering the Iraq War for ABC News, has a new passion in the wake of her husband’s injury: Exposing the misconceptions surrounding brain trauma. She has discovered through her experience that the average person is largely unaware of the severe nature of these types of injuries.
The Woodruffs’ foundation, www.reMIND.org, created TweetToRemind, a weekend-long cyber fundraiser Memorial Day weekend. Subscribers to the cell phone networking tool Twitter can donate from Friday to Monday. One hundred percent of the money will go to wounded veterans. Re-Tweet the following: Who’s Who’s Your Hero? Donate $5 to help Lee Woodruff raise $1.65M for injured soldiers http://bit.ly/remind #Tweettoremind #TMOM
“It’s easy to understand what happened to Bob,” says Woodruff. “He was hit by a bomb. Naturally, he has brain trauma. But not all cases of brain trauma present themselves so clearly.”
In fact, many brain traumas, particularly those suffered by members of the military, come in the form of combat stress or post traumatic stress disorders which, according to Woodruff, often go undiagnosed and untreated.
“We don’t make it easy for our veterans to get treatment, mainly because fixing brain injuries is an inexact science,” says Woodruff. “If a soldier loses a leg, we know precisely what needs to be done. Treating the brain is far more complicated. Still, we need to do better.”
Toward that end, the Woodruffs have created a foundation – www.reMIND.org – which advocates for brain injury education. The foundation raises funds to assist grass roots organizations whose goal it is to assist returning veterans with access to therapy, employment, and housing, among other needs.
“Our goal is to raise awareness of brain trauma,” says Woodruff. “There are 1.5 million brain injuries reported per year – that‘s more than AIDS, spinal cord injury, autism, breast cancer, and MS combined.”
When asked what has most helped her to cope with the remarkable events of the past three years, Woodruff responded with a single word: “Laughter.”
“Humor is a powerful tool. I believe you absolutely must laugh at yourself now and then, even when times are difficult,” she says. ” Laughter is what carried us through the brain trauma and what will undoubtedly see us through for the rest of our lives.”