CINCINNATI — Recent UC College of Medicine student Hagar Elgendy and her husband, Cedric Peerman, understand it takes a village to make great things happen.
Also, it takes a mama with moxie to lead four little ones.
Elgendy went to med school, which is hard enough, but to do it with four kids took a lot of help.
“I had to get smart about how I utilized my time,” she said. “(I) had to get up really early. By the times the kids woke up, I could take care of them."
She got up at 3 a.m. every day and got a lot of help from her best friend, husband and parenting partner, former Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Peerman. When his time with the team ended, he picked up a lot of the stay-at-home responsibilities.
“Everything’s a blur,” he said. “I feel like we kind of knew our roles would transition and pick up on each other’s previous role.”
The couple has a philosophy: Being a stay-at-home parent is a harder job than playing in the NFL or pursuing medical school.
“By the end of the day, you are mentally drained just from keeping up with the kids,” Peerman said.
They make a great team, but sometimes the biggest help came from outside the home. At the college of medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is where you’ll find Dr. Mia Mallory.
“It’s important to be connected as a family, because in medicine we are under-repped,” she said. “You may go through a medical career not finding many who look like you.”
Mallory helped with everything from taking care of one of Hagar’s babies to helping push her through the academic demands that often challenged family time.
Hagar’s next step in her medical journey is at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and as graduation approaches, the moving boxes in the couple’s home are starting to stack up.
“Not every student has that drive, that determination,” Mallory said. “She’s amazing. She’s superhuman.”
And Mallory thinks Hagar and her family have the heart to represent Cincinnati so well in the world.
“I’ve learned so much during my time in Cincy,” Hagar said. “Every aspect has planted a seed. I plan to take that seed along and it’s going to bear a lot of fruit.”
She plans to focus on physical medicine and rehab, which is a pipeline to sports medicine.
Peerman is pursuing an MBA in finance.