A Special Tribute to Institute Advocate Judy Woodruff

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Group photo with Judy Woodruff.Nearly 300 people gathered at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., on October 10 for Kennedy Krieger Institute’s celebration of “Whatever It Takes: A Tribute to Judy Woodruff.” The event honored the beloved journalist, who has been a tireless advocate for the groundbreaking pediatric brain disorder treatment and research that happens at Kennedy Krieger. The fact that she is also a longtime Institute friend and board member made the night that much more special.

There were so many memorable moments from the event, including:

  • An interview with Woodruff led by Ellie McGinn, a sweet and strong 10-year-old living with a rare genetic disorder called LBSL (which she calls her “awesome disease”). Watch the video of the interview here. The budding journalist also introduced her pediatric neurologist at Kennedy Krieger, Dr. Ali Fatemi. Together, the two kicked off the event.
  • An intimate interview between dear friends Woodruff and Andrea Mitchell, which took us back to when Woodruff’s son Jeffrey was first treated at Kennedy Krieger for a brain injury. It was a difficult time for Woodruff and her family, Woodruff said, but they navigated through the experience with the Institute right at their sides. Watch the video of the interview here.
  • A presentation by Bob and Janet Sloan, who represented the evening’s co-beneficiary, Joey’s Foundation. The Sloans shared their heightened focus on children’s health and introduced us to their youngest grandchild, Joey, who experienced a severe brain injury three years ago. They started Joey’s Foundation to invest in research that would help improve the lives of children living with brain injuries. Watch the video of the Sloans’ presentation here.
  • A conversation between Woodruff and Kennedy Krieger’s new president and CEO, Dr. Brad Schlaggar, who shared his vision for growing the Institute’s impact on children’s lives through enhanced pediatric brain disorder research. Watch the video of the conversation here.
  • And in one of the most moving moments of the evening, Woodruff was joined onstage by doctors and therapists from the care team that treated Jeffrey nearly 20 years ago—many of them are still actively working at Kennedy Krieger. View all of the photos from the event here.

The event raised crucial funds for pediatric brain disorder research at Kennedy Krieger. A portion of the proceeds also benefited Joey’s Foundation, an organization devoted to supporting research, innovation and education for children with brain disorders.

We’d like to say a special thank you to the event’s top sponsors: CareFirst, and Earl Abramson and Sheila Schlaggar.