Christina grew up in Tallahassee, Florida with her sister Jarrett, mother Phyllis, and father Ben. Phyllis was diagnosed with cancer in the late 1970s, at age 43. Early chemotherapy regimens were very severe, and patients suffered from both the cancer and the treatment. At a time when most high school girls are caught up in teen life, Christina and her sister Jarrett watched their mother live through the illness and treatment side effects. While Phyllis successfully battled cancer, she grappled with its lasting side effects throughout her life. Many of our early scenarios for the Christina Phipps Foundation Teacher Trainings were informed by the treatments Phyllis received and the difficulty of her recovery.
Young Phipps family (early 1970s) left to right Ben, Phyllis, Christina and Jarrett (dog Jenk)
Christina graduated from the University of Georgia and went to work for the State of Florida. She met and fell in love with Greg Crum, a sailor stationed at Mayport Naval Base, in Jacksonville Florida. She moved to Neptune Beach in 1997 to be close to her “Gregory”. She loved "the Beaches" communities of Jacksonville and became active in her community. She was a food columnist for the Jacksonville Beach Examiner, appeared on cooking shows on Jacksonville's Channel 4, was a leader in the "turtle patrol," a patron of the Beaches Historical Museum, and a Navy wife. At age forty, Christina was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.
Christina's husband, Greg, becoming an officer in the Navy 2009. Left to right: Ben, Christina, Phyllis, Greg, Jarrett and Roark
Just prior to the time she was diagnosed she completed yoga teacher training and was teaching yoga. After surgery, and when she started chemotherapy, she found that she was better able to deal with the treatment and aftereffects, both emotionally and physically, than many of her fellow patients. She attributed this to yoga, and she poured herself into deeper study and practice. Christina realized that she could make the treatment easier and rehabilitation more successful for other cancer patients with personalized yoga instruction. Her cancer did return, yet she continued to teach others in the cancer community yoga and expand her offerings.
Phyllis in a wig because of her cancer (early 1980s) left to right Christina, Ben, Phyllis, and Jarrett (dogs Panzer and Nettles)