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FIRST YOU CRY, AND THEN YOU LEARN TO COPE
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FIRST YOU CRY, AND THEN YOU LEARN TO COPE

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The doctor wanted to know what she wanted to do.

``I wanted to walk out of there and forget the guy,' says Moore, 34, as she sits in the living room of her home outside Mayodan. The room, decorated with country crafts and family portraits, is warm from a wood stove. A calico kitten tumbles noisily on the floor.blood sample, indicated a problem with Moore's third pregnancy. Her other two children, Chuck, now 11, and Katie, 9, were normal. Now, in the doctor's office, she and her husband, Ed, had to face the fact that their third child probably wouldn't be.

``We cried a lot there,' she remembers. ``We came home and cried a lot here. He and I have the same feelings about a lot of things. We never really had to talk about what we would do.

``An abortion was never an option with us,' she says. ``For myself, it would be like taking one of my other children out and shooting them.'

The doctors told her what to expect - that her baby probably would be mentally retarded, that he might never walk, that he would have urinary and bowel problems and that her whole family's life would change. The pregnancy seemed very long.

``Not a day went by that we didn't cry,' Moore says. ``My other children didn't understand what was going on. They didn't understand why mama was making a baby blanket and crying.'

Thirty-two weeks into her pregnancy, doctors gave her shots that would make the baby's lungs develop faster. At 33 weeks, a little over eight months, they cut her open and brought out Glen Moore. By the time she woke up, surgeons were working on Glen, trying to close a gap that covered two-thirds of his back.

When Sharon Moore first saw her son, he was lying on his stomach with his face turned to the side. His back was covered with bandages. She noticed his head. ``He had the prettiest head I've ever seen.'

The first year was hard. Glen had nine surgeries in nine months, including several shunts to drain the fluid that pooled in his head and operations for bladder problems and hernias. It seemed like they were constantly in a doctor's office.

``You don't have time to think, 'Can I do this?' ' Sharon Moore says.

After three years, the Moores have learned to live with the financial drain of Glen's care, which runs $500 to $600 a month. His braces cost $3,200. There are medications and catheters to be bought constantly. The Moores have learned the hard way that doctors won't refuse medical treatment if they make small payments as they go.

At 3, Glen is a good-natured, often mischievous, child. He delights in torturing the family cat, Kitty. A scratch on his face resulted from shutting a door on Kitty's tail. Asked what Kitty said about that episode, Glen screams, ``AHHHHHH!' as he laughs wildly.

He loves to play with his brother and sister. He goes to their karate classes and mimics their punches. When they jump on their bicycles, he jumps on his motorized three-wheeler.

``I've had my kids put him in the tree because he wanted to climb trees,' Sharon Moore says. The Moores have tried to make Glen as independent as possible. He has tested for higher-than-normal intelligence. He walks with the aid of braces and a walker. He is learning to catheterize himself. He flops out of the bathtub, face first onto a mat, by himself. His mother expects him to have a normal life span.

``This child is a wonderful person. Anything we went through is worth it,' Sharon Moore says. ``'He's everybody's ray of sunshine.'

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