Michelle Moore says all women can be empowered to help

By Annika Tomlin

Michelle Moore hasn’t let the hardships of being a mother and cancer survivor get in the way.

Founder and president of the Phoenix-based nonprofit organization Mother’s Grace, Moore recently published her first book, “A Mother’s Grace: Healing the World, One Woman at a Time.”

With around $2,000, Moore founded Mother’s Grace in 2009 as a nonprofit that provides financial assistance for housing costs, meals, housekeeping and child care to Arizona mothers in the midst of tragic life events. Mother’s Grace is now a multimillion-dollar charity that also provides support and professional guidance for mothers aiming to start their own nonprofit organizations.

Working as LabCorp’s senior vice president and a mother of three, Moore wanted to pen a book about her experiences as a mother while also telling stories of other “impactful” women.

“I lost my mom when I was 5 years old, and that is in the book,” Moore says. “I was trying to connect with moms, and in the subconscious way I think I was trying to connect with different moms around, saying this is a good role.

“As I got older, I really started connecting with moms who had been through hard stuff like me—lost their moms or some tragic event—and they made lemonade out of lemons. They started doing stuff for other people.”

As part of helping other mothers, Moore took her oldest son when he was 10 to clean up New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

“We got to know these different moms who were making a difference,” Moore says.

One of the mothers who lost everything “turned into a powerhouse,” according to Moore, and helped clean up the city and rebuild close to 30,000 homes.

“In 2008, I became one of those moms,” Moore says. “I was diagnosed with a really aggressive form of breast cancer. As I was getting ready to go to my first chemo appointment, my middle son, who was 7 at the time, got rushed to the hospital and was diagnosed with terminal diabetes.”

After rounds of chemotherapy and five surgeries over a year, Moore survived her battle with breast cancer. But while she was battling cancer, her son had to learn how to be dependent on insulin. Moore says the experience while also raising two other children was “very impactful.”

“It was already an interest of mine to connect with these mothers on a subconscious level, and then all of a sudden I became one,” Moore says. “For me it was like this divine journey that God had meant for me.”

Her book follows her story from the time she lost her mother to battling cancer and beyond. “Healing the World, One Woman at a Time” also includes the stories of other women and mothers Moore has connected with over the years.

“Someone would call me and say there is this nun that we heard about in India; she has 90 orphan girls and she can’t get them to the hospital when they have some disease,” Moore says. “They had to take a rickshaw, and they are dying on the way there. We got a Jeep to them.

“(Hearing other moms’ stories) they intertwined with my story, and it just became a really beautiful piece on moms who have been going through this stuff and how we get together and how everybody is going to exponentially help their communities. (The book) goes from India to New Orleans, to Scottsdale, to the Parkland shootings.”

The foreword of Moore’s book was written by her longtime friend, Mother’s Grace board member and Gov. Doug Ducey’s wife, Angela Ducey.

“She’s very impactful with the children of Arizona,” Moore says. “She’s one of the most philanthropic people that I know.

“She’s known me for a long time and so I think she saw the development of all of this, and so it was not just the book foreword.”

Moore says she has heard readers have cried or were emotional when they perused the book. It becomes inspirational toward the end.

“I would say it’s 60% to 70% personal anecdotes with these stories, but the self-help part is definitely there,” Moore says. “At the end, I write a whole chapter about how you can empower yourself to make a difference and really break it down.”

Moore says not everyone needs to start their own nonprofit but can make a difference by simply “baking cookies.”

“I think the most important thing to take away from the book is really bad stuff happens,” Moore says.

“I hope people take away that you don’t have to be the strongest person in the world. You don’t have to be the richest person in the world. There are ways to walk through this journey with grace and to come out the other side better for you and better for others.”   

“A Mother’s Grace: Healing the World, One Woman at a Time” is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.
Info: mothers-grace.org

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