Published on December 10, 2014 by Cassady Weldon  

The family of Renie Moss, Samford University’s assistant dean of campus life, was presented with the Children’s Tumor Foundation Strength and Honor Award at the national beNeFit Gala in Detroit, Michigan.

Moss’s husband Philip and children Philip and Helen have all been diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. The younger Philip has been particularly hit hard by NF.

“The journey that led to this moment is not one we would willingly walk. As newlyweds, our expectations did not include having to accept a genetic diagnosis that carried lifelong consequences,” said Moss. “As parents, nothing prepared us for how to cope with the diagnosis of NF for not one, but both of our children.”

The award was created to honor a patient or family that receives their diagnosis with strength and honor. The gala raised a record $3 million for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the search for effective treatment for NF.

Moss credits her involvement at Samford as a great source of strength for her and her family.

“So many Samford students and employees have stood with us and supported us at different stages of our journey,” said Moss. “I appreciate working in a place that is truly a family, not just a paycheck.”

Earlier this year, the Moss family and others organized a fundraising event at Birmingham’s Railroad Park that netted more than $52,800 for NF research and involved dozens from the Samford community.

To see a video of the Moss family’s journey and Renie’s reflection on the award presentation go to

Cassady Weldon is a journalism and mass communication major and news and feature writer in the Office of Marketing and Communication.




Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.