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We sat down with Nikki Moore to learn more about her family’s journey with colon cancer and how their lifestyle apparel brand is carrying on her husband’s legacy and encouraging others to “Live Moore.”
Can you share a little bit about Matt’s diagnosis and how it impacted your family?
I was 7 months pregnant when my husband, Matt, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. He was 32. We switched over to OHSU for care and he started chemotherapy just nine days before our son was born. He was doing chemo every three weeks, with his second round starting in February 2016 when our son, Cullen, was just 2 weeks old.
When you’re 32 years old, happily married to the most amazing partner and expecting your first child, you don’t expect to be told you have cancer – and definitely not a late stage cancer. That was not in the plan. It’s the scariest, most shocking news you could ever face.
But then you do face it. You fight it together, and all of a sudden, you see the world differently.
How did Matt’s journey change your perspective?
We didn’t know if we would have another Christmas together, or another birthday together. We learned to take a step back and slow down to focus on connections and relationships.
Our family was shown so much kindness and generosity – people were bringing us meals and babysitting our son so I could accompany Matt to treatment. We even had strangers sending us gifts to help support our new family in the mix of Matt fighting colon cancer.
Experiencing that generosity inspired us to encourage others to perform acts of kindness through the Live Moore Challenge. You just never know what people are going through – you don’t know what tomorrow holds. The “Live Moore” message and movement sprang from that desire to give back and share what we were learning from cancer.
How did Live Moore get started?
Matt developed a skin reaction while undergoing treatment and started searching for a soft shirt to wear. He wasn’t able to find what he was looking for, so he started mocking up designs for T-shirts from his hospital bed. As a financial planner, Matt didn’t have any design experience – but he didn’t let that stop him!
He spent a lot of time reading and reflecting on his experience with cancer. I remember him saying to me, “I really feel like we have a message to share with the world about what we’re learning from colon cancer.”
Shortly before Matt passed on April 25, 2017, he said, “Please don’t let Live Moore die.” He wanted people to learn to live in the present, to take risks, engage in acts of kindness, and to love the life they live.
My goals with Live More are twofold: to increase colon cancer awareness in Matt’s demographic, and to share our story in hopes of inspiring people to live their life to the fullest – because you never know what tomorrow holds. Losing Matt has been heartbreaking and devastating for our family. However, it has also been such a gift to have Live Moore to continue to carry on Matt’s legacy.
We still keep in touch with some of Matt’s providers at OHSU, including Dr. Skye Mayo, Dr. Gina Vaccaro and Dr. Daniel Herzig. OHSU is a part of our journey. We actually just got to see Dr. Herzig at the 2018 Get your Rear in Gear 5k event, which is hosted by one of the organizations Live Moore supports, the Colon Cancer Coalition. The race raised more than $20,000 for OHSU’s Colon Cancer Awareness and Patient Assistance Project.
How has Live Moore impacted you personally?
The most powerful impact it’s had on me is seeing Matt’s essence continue to live on through the message of Live Moore. Words cannot express how much joy I experience when someone comes up to me with tears in their eyes or writes to me to share how Live Moore has positively impacted the way they life their life. I am so thankful that our son will one day be able to see how his dada’s life was able to impact others in such a profound way.