When the Rangers take the ice in the Stanley Cup Final, Dominic Moore will be playing for more than a championship.
In April of 2012, Moore disappeared from hockey when his wife of less than two years, Katie, was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer. She died the next January, just nine months after she was diagnosed, at the age of 32. Dominic opens up about his wife and the tragedy in the video above.
Here’s what you need to know about Dominic’s wife, their love affair, and how her memory inspires him in his quest for the Cup.
1. Dominic Met Katie at Harvard
Katie Moore grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and in Wayzata, Minnesota, before she went to Harvard University, where she met Dominic. Katie majored in both art history and literature while on scholarship for the women’s varsity soccer team, achieving success in academics and athletics.
Dominic, captain of the men’s varsity hockey team, took notice of her right away as she lit up every room she was in with her beauty and energy.
Dominic said of Katie in an interview with the Washington Post:
She was the best looking girl on campus. … She’s brilliant, a lot smarter than I’ll ever be.
2. They Were Together for 9 Years
Dominic and Katie became a couple almost instantly after meeting at Harvard. She attended every hockey game she possibly could through his college and professional career as his biggest fan.
Starting with the Rangers, Dominic was traded six times. With the trades came the temporary homes, changing cities frequently and readjusting. The whole time Katie remained by his side.
Teammate Henrik Lundqvist told the Washington Post of the couple:
They were a fun couple to be around. … Katie was always talking and laughing — she had a lot of energy.
3. She Lovingly Designed the Home Where Dominic Still Lives
— Chris Cuthbert (@CCtsn) May 23, 2014
Because Dominic’s trades required frequent moves, the couple never had a place to call home. Finally, they decided to settle down in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Harvard’s campus. Katie spent most of her time designing the inside of apartment to make it special and homey. Katie’s family members had workers rush to finish her plans so she could see her finished work before she passed away. Dominic still lives in the home Katie designed.
4. Despite Radical Intervention, Her Disease Was Deemed Incurable
In April of 2013, Katie began to feel sick, but she thought she was pregnant, as the couple had been trying to start a family. She found out she wasn’t pregnant, and her health declined from there.
She and Dominic saw many doctors before seeking out a specialist. After several tests, Katie was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. She was 31 years old.
The doctors gave Katie just weeks to live, but she had surgery to remove the tumor in her liver. Doctors also removed Katie’s entire stomach. This prolonged her life, but her health declined rapidly, and in a few months all of her vital organs were shutting down.
Katie died on January 7, 2013.
5. Dominic Started a Foundation in Her Name Before Returning to Hockey
— Dominic Moore (@mooredom) August 6, 2013
Dominic took a year off from hockey before beginning to train again following Katie’s death. He had contract offers from various teams but knew he was not in the right state of mind to start up again. Although he will never completely recover from the tragedy, he has been pushing forward to serve as an inspiration to those in similar heartbreaking situations. Katie now represents the strength in those who are fighting cancer.
Dominic started a foundation in Katie’s name to support the cause. The foundation’s mission statement reads, “The Katie Moore Foundation helps patients and families dealing with rare cancers through research, advocacy, and community.”
In the 2014 season, Dominic finally returned to the NHL, signing with the New York Rangers, the first team he ever played for. Katie’s memory lives on and Dominic will go on to play in the Stanley Cup Final, playing each game in dedication to the beautiful person she was and the positive impact her life has had on the world.
I’m going back to the start… pic.twitter.com/59AsuoXw7Z
— Dominic Moore (@mooredom) July 5, 2013