Rachel Cheetham Moro, born August 2, 1970 in Perth, Western Australia, died Monday February 6, 2012 at Riverview Hospital in Red Bank, NJ after a courageous nine-year battle with metastatic breast cancer.
Rachel spent the first twenty-seven years of her life in Australia graduating from University, qualifying as a Certified Practicing Accountant, teaching and building a small accounting practice in Perth. She had an acute quest for adventure that would eventually take her to visit more than 40 countries, and one day decided to go on a two year “walkabout” to see what the world had to offer. First stop was London where Rachel quickly found work as a CFO of a media company and built a network of friends including her beloved husband Anthony Moro.
In 2001, Rachel and Anthony moved to New York City where Rachel attended and graduated from Fordham University with Masters Degrees in Business and Tax. Recruited by Ernst & Young upon graduation in 2003, Rachel accepted an international tax consultant position at EY’s world headquarters in Times Square. Later that year, under the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Rachel and Anthony were engaged to be married.
Rachel was first diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2004. Multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments followed, with a short interim break for Rachel and Anthony’s beachside wedding, albeit during a late summer Jersey Shore Nor’easter. Completely bald from the chemo, Rachel joked that at least she didn’t have to fuss about her hair.
Confident treatment was successful, because everyone “survives” breast cancer, don’t they? Rachel and Anthony began to rebuild their lives. They built their dream house on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and settled in with Newman the Norwich Terrier always at her side. Rachel was renowned for her dinner parties where guests dined on her gourmet-quality cooking and laughed at her snarky view of the world delivered in her quirky Aussie accent. Out in the garden, Rachel’s green thumb was the wonder of the neighborhood.
Once again, however, life had other plans and the shocking diagnosis that cancer had returned and metastasized turned their world upside down and shaped the final years of Rachel’s life. Again, surgeries, chemo and radiation followed, this time with no end in sight. In between the treatment and the fatigue, Rachel discovered it was necessary to bring substantial change to the status quo in charitable giving to breast cancer advocacy organizations.
Rachel directed her fierce wit, eloquence and intelligence to authoring and editing “The Cancer Culture Chronicles” (http://cancerculturenow.blogspot.com) where she both provided and found, true inspiration among the blog’s 100,000 readers. Rachel believed “it's time to move beyond pink ribbons” and messages of "breast cancer awareness" and start agitating for “real and meaningful action in the fight to eradicate this disease for good.” Another network of friends entered Rachel’s orbit throughout the process and they were enormously important to her as confidants and therapists over the last few years. Rachel’s advocacy has had tangible results that will continue to help women with metatstatic breast cancer until the day this terrible disease is finally cured.
Rachel is survived by her Beloved husband Anthony Moro III and her faithful canine companion Newman; her mother Amanda Cheetham of Perth, Western Australia; her father Anthony Cheetham of Caloundra, Queensland, Australia and her brother Peter Cheetham, of Hilchenback, Germany. She is also survived by mother-in-law and champion Felicia Moro and father-in-law Anthony Moro Jr. of Monmouth Beach, New Jersey; her brother and sister-in-law Adam and Jessalynn Moro and nephews Jayden Ristevski and Xavier Moro and niece Amelia Moro. She is also survived by a number of dedicated medical professionals in New York and New Jersey and an incredible network of friends on every continent in the world.
There will be an open house for those who wish to pay their respects at Damiano’s Funeral Home in Long Branch, NJ on Friday, February 10 from 5 pm to 8 pm.
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Rachel’s life on Saturday, February 11 at McLoone’s Rum Runner Restaurant in Sea Bright, NJ beginning at 12 noon with lunch followed by a service.
In place of flowers or food, the family requests donations to be sent to further Rachel’s cancer advocacy at either of the two Rachel Cheetham Moro Memorials established with the following organizations:
Breast Cancer Action
55 Montgomery St, Ste. 323
San Francisco, CA 94105
METAvivor Research and Support Inc.
1783 Forest Drive #184
Annapolis, MD 21401