Colliding with the future

How a chance accident altered one man’s path—for good. 

Spire employees volunteering

The car came out of nowhere, hitting 52-year-old Jim Moore’s bicycle and launching him through the air. As quickly as it appeared, it sped away, leaving him on the ground, unable to move.

It was the summer of 2013 when that car, speeding through a residential neighborhood, catapulted Jim’s life down a new path—a path that had already been rocky that year.

A couple months earlier, Jim lost his job. As the primary source of income for his family, the pressure was mounting.  

An athlete and fitness enthusiast his entire life, he responded to the stress the only way he knew how: he grabbed his bike and focused on the literal and symbolic road ahead. He kept himself motivated, even setting monthly cycling goals. This month, he was set to hit 1,000 miles.

“It’s funny, really. We set goals for ourselves thinking we have total control,” Jim said. “But really, we never know what’s coming.”

For Jim, a lot was coming—fast.

“After I was hit, I just laid there on the road, perfectly still for a while. I thought for sure my back was broken, maybe even my pelvis.”

Slowly, he realized he could move. And aside from severe bruising, his body was perfectly intact. His luck was changing. Within a month, he was ready to get back on the road.

“Before I hopped on my bike again, my wife insisted I get more life insurance,” he added with a chuckle. “So, I applied.”

In excellent shape, he fully anticipated easily passing the physical required for added insurance. But for the second time that year, Jim found himself frozen, unable to move.

“'I’m going to die,' that was my first thought.”

“The doctor called and said my PSA levels were too high. There was good chance I had prostate cancer.”

That January, on his birthday, Jim’s worst fears were confirmed. He did, in fact, have cancer. “’I’m going to die,’ that was my first thought.”

The days following his diagnosis weren’t easy. With no steady income and an onslaught of medical bills, their funds, and their supply of food, had run out. Physically and emotionally broken down, Jim swallowed his pride and went to a local food pantry.

“They fed us when we needed it most. I told myself I would never forget that.”

A man of his word, he never has.

“I’ve taken. Now I’m giving back.”

It’s been four years since that stolen car veered off course, altering Jim’s path permanently. Today, he’s fully recovered from the accident, in remission from his cancer and happily employed as a utility market analyst for St. Louis-based Spire, a place where Jim feels fortunate to build his career.

“They just really care about people at Spire.”  And that fits perfectly with Jim’s motto.  “I’ve taken. Now I’m giving back.”

Just months into his new job, Jim’s co-worker mentioned he was stepping down from the board of directors at the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Jim, remembering the hardest year of his life, immediately asked to be recommended for the position.

“Through my whole ordeal, I found that people in this country can get food if they really need it.  The problem is that they may not know where to go.”

Now, beginning his term on the board, Jim’s focused on raising awareness.

“Through my whole ordeal, I found that people in this country can get food if they really need it.  The problem is that they may not know where to go.”

Jim’s path forward is once again clear. He plans to change that, making sure all those in the St. Louis area know where and how to find help—when they need it most.