The Purpose of Life: One Family’s Journey

By: Caryn Hohnholt, KCH Chief Development & Communications Officer
Published: Dec 22, 2022

“We’ve learned that the only thing that REALLY matters is our love for one another and the time we get to spend together. School is important, but not more important than what happens at home.” -Rachel Moore

The Moore family lived a busy life that was filled with school, work, practices, and the never ending struggle to figure out what was for dinner. Because Rachel and her husband, David Moore, worked from home, their house was always buzzing with clients, business calls, homework, and visiting teens, as they had three children: Erin, Andrew, and Emily. Every night, someone had a game, practice, or band concert. This was the Moore family’s life – then out of nowhere cancer came into their lives.

Rachel was diagnosed with Stage IV inoperable colon cancer in March of 2019 at the age of 39 years old, bringing doctor visits, hospital stays, and chemotherapy into her family’s life. The life that Rachel knew changed forever. Over the course of her treatment, she went through three surgeries. Every treatment was meant to extend her life – not necessarily save it by curing her of the disease.

Rachel Moore (left) with her husband David Moore.

After telling their children about the cancer diagnosis, Rachel and David allowed their children to guide them through how they could help – two children visited therapists while the other needed to retreat to sort through their feelings. During this time, each child was also allowed to adopt a new pet which was one of the best things for their mental health. They knew the importance of keeping their children informed of what was going on throughout treatment so their imaginations did not fill in what they did not know. Rachel believed that if they were going to fight this battle as a team, all the players needed to know what they were up against.

“The biggest lesson we’ve learned is to stop putting off ’til tomorrow what we want to do today. In the past, we may have waited to take a big vacation because of money or timing or school or work.” -Rachel Moore

Following her diagnosis the Moore family took two huge family trips: a road trip to California and in January of 2020 a trip to Orlando to celebrate their 20-year anniversary. In March of 2021, almost exactly two years after her diagnosis, Rachel’s disease had progressed and the family reached out to Kansas City Hospice for assistance. KCH worked with Rachel and her family to identify and establish goals. One of the greatest goals she was able to achieve was to shoot prom photos of her oldest daughter, Erin, and Erin’s friends. Rachel had long been one of the most sought-after professional photographers in Kansas City; she was also a blogger, business owner, graphic designer, and was an advocate who raised awareness about colon cancer.

The Moore family visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando.

Rachel fought to live not for her own purposes but to live one more day for her family. With Kansas City Hospice by their side, along with a community of supporters, the Moore family set an example to all of us for how to find purpose and hope even in the darkest of times.

On October 25, 2021, Rachel drew her last breath at Kansas City Hospice House, leaving her loved ones to grieve but also inspired to honor her beautiful spirit and remember all that she brought to them and to the world. Even after death, Rachel wanted her family to continue living and perhaps her greatest act of kindness was ensuring that they could move forward and live happy lives, knowing her love lives on in each of them. Rachel knew from the start and made sure to remind all of those who loved her that the purpose of life… is LOVE.

Just like the Moore family, there are thousands in our community who depend on Kansas City Hospice for end-of-life care and grief support services. To donate and support families like the Moore family please visit our website at The Purpose of Life.


  1. Judy Bedard Koerner on April 14, 2023 at 9:39 pm

    I’m bawling my eyes out after reading Rachel’s story. I don’t even know where to start. My sister, Carol Bedard, was a nurse for KC Hospice until she retired. I knew very little of what she did. I couldn’t love her more! What a beautiful place to be at the end of your journey here on earth. Your care, love, and compassion is immeasurable.. I want to say THANK YOU for all you do!! May God Bless each and every one of you.

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