Vice President of Wellness for Carilion Clinic, Bud Grey steps into a new role as children’s book author

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Roanoke, Va. (WFXR) — They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but for Vice President of Carilion Wellness, Bud Grey, missing his Granddaughter forged creativity. 

“I think what’s most important is the role we have to play for our kids and our grandkids and if you can do that whether it’s in stories, whether it’s in a book, whether it’s whatever, that’s an opportunity to do what you should be doing.”

Bud Grey, Senior Vice President of Carilion Wellness

Bud’s role as Baba to his granddaughter Cece is a role he cherishes, and now, he’s taken on the role of author. It all started with a gift intended just for Cece after living long distance and the pandemic preventing visits.

“It really started out as a story and it was a matter of Cece, my granddaughter was born and lived in the UK and that was pre-pandemic. She was born in 2018 so it was difficult to get to see her just because of logistics, cost, everything else involved with that… so I thought it might be kind of neat to write a little special story about her coming over here to see Baba and Yaya, I am Baba, my wife’s Yaya. Then as the pandemic came about it really put a limit on what we could even do.”

Bud Grey, Senior Vice President of Carilion Wellness

Bud says the writing process became therapeutic. He was able to pour the lack of control he had in making visits as well as his feelings of missing his family into creative expression.

“While I’d be walking the dogs at night, while I’d be on the treadmill and be in the shower I’d just try to think of funny little things that might appeal to her and then I’d get out and write it down real quickly.”

Bud Grey, Senior Vice President of Carilion Wellness

Bud wanted something to keep his granddaughter’s attention so he hired a friend from college, a professional illustrator, Tom Arvis to illustrate the book and he made sure to pick a theme with plenty of animals as his granddaughter Cece is very fond of them.

“The whole idea was to get animals doing funny things, walking, talking with each other and at the end the whole concept is that it’s called The Buddy Bridge. They build a bridge to help her come across here and it has a lesson at the end, just in terms of when you work with your friends anything is possible.”

Bud Grey, Senior Vice President of Carilion Wellness

The book, The Buddy Bridge was kept a secret, not even revealed to Bud’s wife a former librarian until completion. Bud called his daughter and told her to Facetime him when she received a package containing the book. It was through Facetime that his book, written with love and care was disclosed to Cece. The book garnered such positive feedback from peers and friends that Bud decided to share it with us all!

You can get a copy for yourself, here!

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