The Purpose of Life


The purpose of life…

“We were just like any other American family. Every day was filled with school, work, practices, the never ending struggle to figure out what was for dinner. My husband and I are self-employed and work out of our home, so our house was always abuzz with clients and business calls, homework, and visiting teenagers. Every night, someone had a game or practice or band concert. We felt like we never stopped moving, then came cancer.” – Rachel Moore

In March of 2019 at just 39 years old, Rachel was diagnosed with Stage IV inoperable colon cancer. With this sobering diagnosis, the trajectory of her life together with her husband of 18 years, David, and their three children, Erin, Andrew, and Emily, was set on a new course.

“One of the first things she told us was that she wanted us to be able to laugh about it,” Emily, now 13, shares. Colon cancer isn’t a pretty disease, but it offered up some funny subjects and became a source of levity for the family. Holding one another up during difficult moments, but also taking time to soak up every moment of joy they could find. “Her sense of humor was who she was,” Andrew adds, and they managed to find plenty to laugh about.

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. She began
receiving care from our expert team of palliative care professionals who worked with her to
identify and establish goals, and then set about helping her to achieve them. With help from the staff of Shawnee Mission South, Rachel was even able to watch Erin (class of 2022), Andrew (class of 2025), and Emily (class of 2028) “pre-graduate” from high school.


One of her greatest goals was to shoot prom photos of Erin and Erin’s friends. Rachel had long been one of the most sought-after professional photographers in Kansas City, and she worked hard to build the strength and the stamina she would need to be able to capture this special moment in time. Rachel worked closely with her Kansas City Hospice physical therapist and in May, she proudly achieved this meaningful milestone with her oldest daughter.

Over the course of her battle, Rachel fought to live not for her own purposes or because she was scared for herself. She fought 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, leaving her loved ones heartbroken but also inspired to honor her beautiful spirit and remember all that she brought to them and to the world. All agreed that first and foremost, her legacy of kindness is to be remembered. And so in celebration of her, they established “Rachel’s Acts of Kindness”.

On May 11th, Rachel’s birthday, they asked their tribe of supporters to consider small kindnesses that would be meaningful to their recipient. 

They put no parameters on what that could mean, and were overjoyed when dozens of friends began to pour out stories of how they had continued to spread kindness in Rachel’s memory.

Death was the end of many things. Dreams of watching her children graduate from high school and then college; and of seeing them find their own lifetime loves and commitments. Of growing old with David. And of continuing to be a part of the milestone moments of so many other families who had become not just clients of her photography business, but friends.

Rachel didn’t want her family to stop living because she could no longer be by their side. 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. As unfair as death can be, it can also be an impetus to understanding life so much more fully. While its purpose can be a mystery to many, Rachel knew from the start and made sure to remind all of those who loved her.

The purpose of life… is love.

End of life and the grief which follows are sacred journeys that we each will take in our lives, but with your help, we are able to walk beside families like the Moores and thousands of others in our community who depend on Kansas City Hospice.

Hospice can be a frightening word, but it is about so much more than death. It is about living every moment with purpose. Your gift today ensures no one in Kansas City takes that journey alone. Thanks to the generosity of J.D. Lemberger and family in honor of his mother Mary Lou’s loving spirit, any gifts made to this campaign will be matched dollar for dollar up to $40,000.


Learn more about Rachel’s Acts of Kindness