BY: DENNY CRISTALES
She was known by many to be a giver — a giver of knowledge, discipline and integrity to her students and loved ones — and now it's the people she's touched who are returning the favor in honor of her memory.
Margaret "Peggy" Moyer, an esteemed member of CSULB faculty in the physical therapy department for 31 years, died this past August after a near 10-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system — part of the body’s immune functions.
In an effort to memorialize her impact, the CSULB Physical Therapy Department and Physical Therapy Student Association (PTSA) will host the Peggy Moyer Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Oct. 22 to help raise funds for the endowment to name the department's new anatomy lab the Peggy Moyer Anatomy Lab.
"As a colleague, no matter how hectic her schedule has been, she makes it a point to thank us and acknowledge us for the works we have delivered," said Physical Therapy Department Coordinator Gloria Dacanay. "She would go extra miles to lend a helping hand considering she was dealing with her health issues... She would always take the time to express her appreciation and her genuine interest in how we are doing. She’s very kind and compassionate. She truly has a heart of gold."
Michelle Wynee, PTSA vice president, came up with the idea for the event, which originally started off as a fundraiser run for the PTSA but quickly shifted to honor Moyer when news spread of her passing.
The event will begin at 8 a.m. in front of the college's business administration building and will continue on a route that cuts through campus. No registration fee is needed, but participants are encouraged to donate $15 toward the lab. Dacanay said the endowment cost is $250,000.
The lab will be constructed to house several specimens and contribute to anatomy lessons and experiences. Matthew Downey, president of the PTSA, expects the lab to be a "foundation of knowledge" for students to both learn and understand what Moyer meant to the anatomy program.
"Peggy was an awesome anatomy professor, and she really loved every student she had," he said. "She really cared that we understood the material... the job she did with the first year students had profound effects on the rest of the physical therapy department, and even to the patients and clients seen by the students as they entered the workforce."
Moyer was impassioned about the survival and protection of animals, many of which she would shelter in her home. Downey said she would often invite students or colleagues to assist in taking care of her animals, as well.
Through the years, CSULB graduates contacted the department and often asked of Moyer and her well-being. Dacanay said students would often tout how Moyer's instruction and materials serve as a reference of success in the physical therapy program.
"Peggy Moyer always thinks of giving and sharing to others before she even thinks of herself," Dacanay said. "She always considers the good of others. She would use her own personal resources to meet the department and students’ needs... I am so honored to share these precious memories about Peggy Moyer, who has been a great inspiration, and model of sincere kindness and compassion."