Jonda Moo was named the Greenville News Mother of the Year with a surprise visit to her home Upstate Parent



A typical day for Jonda Moo of Simpsonville starts around 3 or 4 a.m. when she wakes up to care for her 16-year-old son, Jason, who has severe cerebral palsy.

“With Jason being special needs, he has a set schedule with medications, breathing treatments, and other treatments, and that’s just on a good day,” she said. “If he’s sick, there may not be any sleep that night.”

That’s followed by waking her husband for work and getting her other three sons — Diego, 12, Gabriel, 9, and Elijah, 4 — ready for school. On Friday, The Greenville News and Upstate Parent interrupted the stay-at-home mom’s regular schedule to surprise her with the news she’d been selected its 2018 Mom of the Year based on a nomination from her friend, Maureen Campbell, a Greenville News insider.

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Surprised, eyes full of tears, Moo immediately thought of others.

“This is part of being a mom,” she said. “All parents deserve recognition for all that they do. I’m just doing what a mom does.”

Campbell was on hand to present Moo with a $250 gift card for a relaxing day at a spa and a bouquet of flowers. As the winning nominator, Campbell also received a $50 VISA gift card, which she immediately handed to Moo.

“To be honest, I never thought my essay would win, but you deserve all of this,” Campbell said.

This is the first year that the Greenville News and Upstate Parent sponsored the Mother of the Year Contest. Nominations were accepted through the Greenville News insider program, a free service to subscribers that offers exclusive deals and contests.

Campbell wrote in her nomination, “Jonda deserves to be honored as Greenville's Mom of 2018 because she is the most amazing mom I have ever met. Jonda is a stay at home mom to four boys, one of whom is a teenager with severe medical needs that requires 24-hour care. Right before Christmas her son was hospitalized because he needed his feeding tubes replaced. When I walked into the hospital room to visit her, she was full of joy and smiles! I know that if I had been in the same situation, my heart would have been heavy. When life throws her lemons, she is not only making lemonade, but she is sharing it with all of those around her.”

Campbell and Moo met through their sons’ CESA Junior Academy soccer team, of which Moo also serves as manager.

“If something needs to be done, Jonda takes care of it without any hint of bitterness,” Campbell said. “In fact, I'm pretty sure her heart is always full of pure kindness and love.”

Moo said circumstances can sometimes be difficult when caring for her oldest son, who suffers from multiple conditions, including blindness and deafness. She still tries to keep a positive attitude for her family.

“You have to keep a good attitude to keep going,” she said. “I’ve got to show my boys that yes, life may be tough, and you may be thrown curveballs, but you can still overcome and strive. That’s what my mom taught me, so that’s what I’m teaching them.”

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