Your Neighbor: Meet Ashley Lentz
By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier
Ashley Lentz has always loved calling Clemmons home. As an only child, she embraced the community of friends she made while doing various sports from Little League softball to the Lewisville Titans Cheer squad. The West Forsyth alumna who is coming up on her 20th year class reunion is a second-generation Titan, as both her parents graduated from West Forsyth in 1972.
Lentz did spread her wings for college. She attended East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville to study health information management. “What I loved about ECU was how much the whole town was about the university. You would go to the gas station and it was painted in our schools’ colors,” mentions Lentz. “Coming from a close-knit village, it made the transition easier for me.”
Lentz graduated from ECU in 2004 and made her way back home a year later. She reconnected with her future husband, Jimmy Lentz, through mutual friends. It would be doubly serendipitous because his mother helped pass along information on Ashley’s future job. “I always knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. I knew it wouldn’t be bedside-related,” explains Lentz. She began her position at Wake Forest Baptist Health working on research grants. “I’ve been there for 15 years this April,” Lentz reflects. Lentz’s focus is on women’s health initiatives relating to memory and dementia. Behavioral health is also another area of study for Lentz.
With Lentz’s professional and personal life on track, she and Jimmy decided to welcome children to their family. While their first pregnancy with son, James, 7, was smooth sailing; they were faced with the loss of a twin girl for their second pregnancy. “We found out we were pregnant with twin girls. One of the babies had a multicystic dysplastic kidney condition which basically means her kidney did not develop in the womb,” reflects Lentz. Daughter, Bristol, 5, was born healthy, and Bailey died after delivery that day. “It humbles you. We were lucky to have friends and family that helped us deal with the loss during that time. We knew from the beginning of the pregnancy that the prognosis for Bailey was not going to improve. It was hard knowing that, but we are grateful for the opportunity to be parents.”
Both Ashley and Jimmy have embraced parenthood with open arms. “It’s so amazing to raise your children where you grew up. My son is at Clemmons Elementary School and it brings back such cherished memories,” notes Lentz. “We are always hopping around from their activities — whether it’s football, baseball or cheer practice at Carolina Spirit Athletics, we stay pretty busy,” describes Lentz. “Every stage has had different things to enjoy and relish.”
The positive mom of two does not take for granted all of the blessings of family, friends, and opportunity that have come her way. As Oprah Winfrey noticed, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up always having more.”