Meet the One Million Strong- Nikki Moore from Oregon
It was June of 2015 and life was in full swing. We had two businesses; Matt was running his financial firm and I was running my mental health therapy private practice. We had a condo DIY kitchen renovation in progress and we found out we were going to have a baby! Our personal, professional, and familial goals that we dreamt of since the start of our relationship, at 20 years old, were beginning to unfold.
One night in August, during an indoor soccer game, Matt broke his big toe. With his lingering physical ailment and an increase in work stressors, things began to change for Matt.
His mood, his energy… something was deeply off.
My happy-go-lucky husband was missing that pep in his step and he soon began complaining of back pain. We wrote it off as symptoms of his toe injury.
In October, following his return from a trip to visit friends, Matt shared with me that he thought he had colon cancer. I rolled my eyes and reminded him of the last time he had self diagnosed with heart attacks on WebMD, only to find he was suffering from a pulled muscle. However, this self diagnosis was different. I could tell he was scared. He got really serious and shared with me some personal things; his sudden change in bowel movements, cramping, fatigue, and blood in his stools.
Fast forward to December 8, 2015. I walked back to meet Matt after his colonoscopy. He was saying silly things due to the sedatives and I couldn’t stop laughing at him. The laughter didn’t last long.
The doctor walked in and said those earth shattering words, “I am shocked but Matt has colon cancer.”
I looked at Matt over my 7-month pregnant belly in complete disbelief as he uttered the words, “I knew it”. Tears streamed down his face. My 32-year old, intuitive husband had known something was deeply wrong with his body.
Then came the results of the CT scan, Stage IV. Tumors in the liver with no possibility to operate. How could this be?! Doctor appointments, port surgery, chemo, scans … we entered the world of cancer. The hospital tumor board’s goal was to get Matt to the treatment of a hepatic arterial infusion pump to increase his chances of survival to 60%. Things quickly went into fight mode.
On February 5, 2016, Matt began his first round of chemotherapy. Nine days later we were given the most beautiful gift of a healthy baby boy. Our young family was facing new life and the uncertainty of death all in the same breath.
As fast as things moved, they also slowed down to the present moment. The noise of keeping up with our peers: the big house, boat, vacations, newest technology —- none of it mattered. We began to cherish every moment and found deep enjoyment in every holiday, milestone, and connecting time as if it could be our last.
Our life and priorities forever changed!
Life’s uncertainty was loud and clear but its beauty became quietly radiant. These lessons of enjoying life and the power of kindness, as it was generously exchanged to us and from us, came to the forefront of our life. We were finally living the life we emotionally and spiritually yearned for and dreamed of as college kids, though we never could have imagined it would take cancer to bring us there.
One weekend, while laying in bed recovering from chemo, Matt began designing t-shirts as a creative outlet. We sat together and talked about our journey and life lessons. If we could teach the world one thing from our experience, it would be to Live Moore! You never know what will happen tomorrow so travel, take risks, go on adventures, spend time with loved ones, check things off the bucket list, do fulfilling actives, create, connect, enjoy, love, be, and simply LIVE Moore (Moore, after our last name)! This birthed the message that Matt and I hope to share and pass on to others.
Matt’s passion for life and his desire to live was undeniable. However, after twenty rounds of chemotherapy we learned that the cancer had spread, for the second time, and any future possibilities of treatment were off the table; words harder to digest than a cancer diagnosis. Yet, Matt continued to fight through immunotherapy and alternative treatments. He never lost hope, nor could he ever accept a life taken by cancer. His calling while in his human body was to share a message learned while experiencing cancer and to inspire others to truly live!
On April 25, 2017 Matt took his final breath of earthly air and descended into the angel world. He left behind a 14-month baby boy, wife, sister, mother, father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brother-in-laws, mother-in-law, father-in-law, countless friends, and a legacy to share with the world, to Live Moore!