UC grad balances motherhood, medicine and a major move

Hagar Elgendy is enjoying her new Carolina surroundings, but she won’t forget the Queen City

Hagar Elgendy is settling into her new surroundings in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

The recent University of Cincinnati graduate received her medical degree from the College of Medicine on May 23, and then promptly moved with her husband, former Cincinnati Bengals player Cedric Peerman, and their four small children the following day.  

All of the children — Emmaus, 5, Ava, 3, Isabelle, 3, and Elias, nine months — were born as Elgendy completed medical school. 

“For years I would wake at 3 a.m. to do my coursework so when the children woke, I could manage the home and take care of them to the best of my ability,” Elgendy says. “All of that hard work has paid off. My training challenged me, as did motherhood, and it grew me into a physician that I am proud of today.”

Hagar Elgendy and her husband Cedric Peerman are shown with their four kids

Newly minted graduate Hagar Elgendy celebrates with her husband Cedric Peerman and their four kids. Photo/Tire Swing Photography

Elgendy matched with her top residency program pick at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she will soon begin her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Her story was featured by Yahoo News after WCPO reporter Kristyn Hartman twice showcased Elgendy, covering Match Day and her anticipated graduation.

“I underestimated the move from Cincinnati,” says Elgendy, musing about the family’s relocation. “It was not like the old days, when I just had myself to consider and could pack my car and make my move. My wallet was stolen a day before and it turned the first few days into chaos. But everything made for some memories that we won’t forget, like hitting our new neighbor’s mailbox when we arrived around midnight.”

It took two U-Haul trucks and three cars in tow to make the 12-hour drive to Pittsboro, a former agricultural hamlet, now a bedroom suburb of Research Triangle Park located in central North Carolina and a short drive from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“We didn’t get a chance to see the house until we moved in because of how competitive the housing market was, but it is absolutely amazing,” she says. “It’s everything we could have dreamed of. I am so thankful. Pittsboro does seem to be an up-and-coming area, and the people we have met so far have been very kind, like our new neighbors who were quick to forgive our mailbox incident.”

Elgendy’s sister drove one of the U-Haul trucks to Pittsboro after attending UC’s commencement festivities with the sisters’ parents, who flew in from California. The College of Medicine awarded 176 degrees during Honors Day, the graduation ceremony for medical students.

Elias Peerman is walking now. Photo submitted.

Elgendy's son Elias Peerman is on the move. Photo/provided

“Graduation day was surreal,” says Elgendy. “I was with all the people who supported me through medical school and I never could have imagined a better day. My seat was right in front of my family and the kids and it was amazing to look out and see them. As I walked off the stage, one of my daughters asked me if I had won a prize. The kids kept saying, ‘Mommy won!’ I felt as if I truly did win in achieving my dream and the kids got to see that and they understood it.”

Elgendy says she will start orientation for her residency within a week.

“My biggest fear is the time I will have away from the kids during residency, but my husband Cedric says he’ll bring them to hospital to visit.”

Cedric Peerman is pursuing two master’s degrees and making the transition from NFL to stay-at-home dad with confidence and grace.

“It’s so humbling to see him pushing through,” Elgendy says. “He wants to take on fixing our house and I just keep asking, ‘Are you sure you want to paint the house during the day, take care of the kids, and work on school at night?’ The things he takes on and his capacity to love just amazes me. His sacrifices have matched his humility.”

In the midst of the move, she got another surprise. Her toddler, Elias, took his first steps.

“I was so praying I would get a chance to see it before I started residency,” she says. “It brought tears to our eyes.”


Featured image at top: Mia Mallory, PhD, hoods Hagar Elgendy at Honors Day 2021 in the College of Medicine. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand