We met in college selling shoes at a department store. Late closing shifts led to lots of talking about life. We soon became really good friends and fell in love. Together we listened to our college professors teach about the world, we were taught by our peers about social norms, and we dreamed big. The world was at our fingertips.
We did what we were “supposed” to: we graduated from college, went to grad school, began working, bought a home, and discovered what it was like to “adult.” Then the “quarter-life crisis” hit for both of us. Suddenly our talks turned to “this is it?!” We were both miserable. After a year of misery, corporate frustration, and lots of tears, we had a “come to Jesus talk” and developed a plan.
The results? We both started our dream businesses (a financial firm and a mental health private practice). We hustled, encouraged each other, and one by one my client load grew and the cold calls from Matt’s home office turned into clients. Suddenly, our conversations began to highlight the change we both felt. We were happier!! We took a giant leap of faith in hopes of more fulfillment, meaning, and connection in life. And it was working!!! Then we got engaged, married and before we knew it, we were expecting our first child.
Things were chugging along, a little stressful, especially for Matt at times as his business grew and merged, and then all the sudden something changed. Matt’s mood, energy….something was deeply off. My happy-go- lucky husband was missing that pep in his step.
At the end of October 2015, after visiting with friends, Matt shared with me that he thought he had colon cancer. I rolled my eyes and reminded him of the last time he self diagnosed himself with heart attacks on Web MD… only to find out he pulled a muscle when weight lifting. He got really serious and shared with me some personal things – sudden changes in bowl movements, cramping, fatigue, and blood in his stools. I could see the fear in his eyes.
Fast forward to December 8, 2015. Matt’s doctor walked into the room after Matt’s colonoscopy and said those earth-shattering words: “Matt has colon cancer.” I looked at Matt over my 7th month pregnant belly in complete disbelief. Then the results of the CT scan were in…stage IV…tumors in the liver, with no ability to operate. How could this be?!? Matt was 32 years old!!! Doctor appointments, port surgery, chemo, scans….things suddenly went into fight mode. And as fast as things moved they also slowed down to the present moment. The noise of keeping up with your peers: the big house, boat, vacations, newest technology – none of it mattered.
We began to cherish every moment and find 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 would have imagined it coming in the form of cancer!
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!” (Moore, after Matt’s last name). 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 activities, create, connect, enjoy, love, be, and simply LIVE Moore! This birthed the message that Matt and I hoped to share and pass on to others.
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, cousins, brother-in- laws, mother-in- law, father-in- law, countless friends, and a legacy to share with the world: Live Moore!
To read more of Matt and Nikki’s story, and see the legacy Matt has left behind, visit livemooreco.com. You can also hear him explain it himself in the video below.