Hello to the BMC community! My name is Christine Moore, and I have called the Birmingham Metro my home for 33 years. I was born in the Bronx, NY and later moved to Lexington, KY. My family moved to Grayson Valley at the time that the Birmingham Turf Club (later Birmingham Race course) opened as a horse racing venue, and as that transitioned, my high school years had started and Birmingham would remain our home. After attending the University of South Alabama for physical therapy school, I returned to Birmingham and later married my husband Ernie, who is a life-long Alabamian, and we settled in his hometown of Gardendale, Alabama.
In my work as a physical therapist, I had the privilege of working at many iconic Hospitals in Birmingham. My first job was at Carraway Methodist Medical Center, and it was an honor to be a small part of such deep local history! I have also been at UAB and Princeton, and I absolutely love working alongside the wonderful healthcare providers who serve patients in The Magic City.
Growing up I did not really know much about Gardendale, but I soon realized why so many loved this community. From our church to the schools and family-friendly neighborhoods, I was welcomed into an extended family of caring and loyal citizens, neighbors, and friends. Although I had been in Birmingham for most of my life, I began to feel a real sense of place, purpose, and deep roots that I feel is rare and precious. When your kids learn that the Mayor was their dad’s basketball coach, that’s a really cool thing.
Living in the suburbs and working in the city is a common situation for many moms in society today. I enjoyed my work immensely and felt the thriving healthcare community in Birmingham was an asset to my career. Never a dull moment, much to learn, and so many incredible medical facilities and professionals to learn from and collaborate with. I had the best of both worlds in a thriving career in Birmingham, which was experiencing a renaissance and was deeply respected as a center of medical excellence, and I had a quiet, tree-filled neighborhood with great neighbors and many of my husband’s lifelong friends. But as we started our family, I learned quickly I was going to need a lot of help from my village in the years to come.
I have been married to Ernie for 20 years and we have three amazing kids, ages 16, 14 and 11. I had no idea how becoming a mom would change me from a career-focused “I can do it all” to a “I can have it all but not all at once” mindset. I scaled back at work and became a part-time clinician to spend more time serving on PTA, participating in all the sports and extra-curriculars that my kids did, and finding a balance. Fortunately, both of our parents were always just a phone call away, but sometimes you just need a “mom Uber” as I call it just to grab your kid from practice because the others are running late or I got the practice times confused! Did I mention my husband is a traveling salesman? So, add that to the list and you have my life. Which I loved, and the chaos was actually wonderful.
Then came cancer. In October of 2014, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I was 40 with three kids in elementary school and, like I mentioned, too much to do to be sick. Because we live in Birmingham, one of the best Colorectal surgeons in the country was here at UAB and, even though it is hard to simplify the process, that was no coincidence. I believe with my whole heart that UAB’s professionalism and dedication to the practice of medicine, along with a whole lot of prayer, saved my life. In my cancer year, my village was the next most important thing after my doctors and medical team. The endless meals, housecleaning, caring for my kids, fundraising, the support, prayers, and friendship can never be fully explained nor can I adequately thank them. They are my angels and are as much a part of my survival as my doctors.
Six years on, I have two teenagers and a tween who are thriving and making me realize maybe the terrible twos weren’t all that hard. The struggles are different, but the realization that they will soon be grown and gone is hard. Eighteen years to pour all you can into them seems like such a long time, until you realize that it’s not. Cancer made me not take a single day for granted. And it truly takes a village to raise a child. I am so thankful for mine.
I am a mom of older kids and I have had cancer. Maybe a strange fit for the BMC? As a person of deep faith, one of the verses I clung to during my cancer journey was Matthew 17:20, “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. And nothing will be impossible for you.” And that makes me think now of the quotation that, “Perhaps you have been given this mountain to show others that it can be moved.” I know not all cancer stories have an ending like mine. I know not all parenting stories are the same. We all struggle. We all must learn to take the bitter with the sweet. But if I can help, grow, shepherd, or teach one person, I will do that. We all have a calling to motherhood. None of us knows what tomorrow holds. But with family, friends, and faith, we will help each other, our communities, and our children grow and thrive.