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Eileen Moore leaves ' a legacy' for child advocacy

Nov 16

Written by:
Friday, November 16, 2012  RssIcon

from The Star Press

MUNCIE — The city - and especially its children - lost a “walking angel” Tuesday when Eileen Moore, a child advocate in her personal and professional life, passed away after her long fight with cancer.

As the program manager for the Child Advocacy Center, a division of Meridian Health Services’ Suzanne Gresham Center, Moore regularly counseled child victims of unspeakable crimes with such compassion and serenity, she was often credited with giving mothers back their children.

Erica Graham is one such parent who felt she could never thank Moore enough for her work with her son.

“I was really taken a back and had to take some time to sit when I heard she had taken a turn and wasn’t going to make it,” she said. “I owe so much to her. The only way I can deal with it is know there were children who are in Heaven now that she can spend time with, caring for them as much as she cared for people on earth.”

“She’s opened my eyes to how much I can give back. I’ll never understand how she could hear such horrible things happening to children and give them so much love and give everyone so much kindness. But she’s inspired me. This community - all of us - will miss her.”

Originally from Iowa, Moore moved to East Central Indiana more than 30 years ago, after obtaining her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from the University of Iowa.

Her love for children was nearly genetic, she said, after growing up in a family who always gave back to the community and loved their own children - and others - as much as anyone could.

Her sister - and best friend - died of breast cancer at 46, leaving her own two children to experience Moore’s love to ease them through their loss.

Her work was about more than clocking in from 9 to 5 p.m., colleagues and friends said. Moore was passionate about providing children with a voice, listening to their stories and more importantly, believing them when other perhaps did not.

“Hearing, talking, believing and trusting children ... Eileen did that for so many young people,” said Dr. Ajanta Goswami, a child psychiatrist who worked with Moore on various cases. “What children said was important to her. They trusted her at a time when they didn’t always trust other people.”

A member of the Delaware County Prevent Child Abuse board of directors as well as a supporter of “anything that involved keeping children safe,” Moore reminded anyone who came in contact with her of the power in tranquility and listening, according to Pat Garofolo, another PCA member.

“She didn’t have to lead the march to support children. She was always there, encouraging all of us, reminding us of how important it was to do this work,” Garofolo continued. “She showed us we all have something we can do to help children. Volunteer, read to a child, tell a child you love them, donate to an organization, there’s something we each can do. She left a legacy in this community. We’ll miss her more than we know.”

Despite her commitment to serving children everywhere, Moore always had time for her own children, her daughters Sarah and Emily.

She regularly remarked that her work in the community helped her “hug her daughters a little tighter” when she saw them, ensuring she laughed, cried and played with them whenever she had the chance.

But as much as she enjoyed being a mother and a child advocate, perhaps her favorite role was as grandmother to Michael Long, the grandchild she never expected to live to see.

Her face beamed when talking of Michael’s everyday changes, his cute smiles and sweet nature.

He was a blessing, she would say, especially after doctors told her in 2010 she had months to live. Michael’s birth made it all worthwhile, she would say. His looks at her were all she needed to see to know everything would be OK, she would say.

“I'm not scared about the future," she said during a Star Press interview in May. "I'm excited to see my sister again and to tell her about the grandchildren. I want to tell her how I learned to be a good mother from her." 

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