Chandler Rowley

Walking in honor of her mother, Keirs Rowley, at our 2021 event

My story begins in August of 2008 when my mother, Kiers Rowley, was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer. With her diagnosis, she was given three months and was told “she wouldn’t see snow hit the ground.” But with God’s grace and healing hands, my mother exceeded the three months given to her and continued to fight for the next ten years without a break.

From that moment on, our lives were forever changed. Mom was born to Dennis and Jan Downing, grandpa and grandma, and was the oldest of three sisters. I too am the oldest of three siblings, so you could say I had the best role model when it came to be a loving and compassionate sibling. By mom’s side were her two beautiful and outrageously strong sisters, Mecah and Shea, who I get the honor of calling my aunts and best friends. Mom went to Messiah Lutheran School, Truman High school, and went on to further her education by studying music at Simpson College, and then earned her master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory. On June 5th, 1993, mom married Steve Rowley, a.k.a dad, and well you know…that’s how I got here, along with my two younger siblings Conrad and Ella.

My siblings and I had the honor of watching what a Godly, faithful, and equally yoked marriage consists of through the love of our parents. Next to her children, her faith and testimony is her greatest legacy. As a young adult, mom invested in the lives of hundreds of youth through music and theater.

Throughout her cancer journey, she witnessed to countless people and was a spiritual warrior on the front lines of furthering His kingdom of believers. Her powerful ripple effect of defeating the enemy and glorifying God through all situations has been inspiring to myself and countless lives around the world. Hearts have been changed by her fervent love for her God and her bold ability to use Him through every chapter in her book of life, whether it was a storm or a rainbow.

She always stayed true to the beautiful novel she called life, each page turning with His fingerprints all over the paper and her declaring God’s presence and meaning in her life. Life doesn’t always promise rainbows, but he does promise a rainbow after the storm. On May 10th of 2018, mom passed away peacefully after her long and courageous battle to cancer. In my heart, I know mom is now composing the most beautiful music with the choir of angels next to her Creator.

She is living out what she spent her life sharing with others, the hope of eternal life. I can confidently say my mother’s tenacious cancer journey gave the gift of HOPE to families, friends, hospital communities, oncologists, and cancer patients. As proof, I am here to carry on her legacy, provide HOPE to the hopeless, and walk for those who’ve lost their battles to this awful disease. My momma clung to the saying “LOVE YOUR PEOPLE AND CLING TO JESUS”, and it is the very reason I wake up and choose love and joy, every single day. This life is not meant to be lived alone, and we certainly cannot live life abundantly without Jesus. I thank my momma every day for the legacy she left to live on.