About Rachel

“Cancer does not define me. Neither does being a wife or a mother. All these things are part of who I am but they do not define me. What defines me is my relationship with Jesus.”

Rachel Barkey has enjoyed many of the best things life has to offer.


As a wife to Neil for 10 years and mother to two children, she has both loved and been loved exceptionally well.


As a businesswoman, an entrepreneur, and a writer she has known the joy of investing her life in something bigger than herself and the thrill of rising to a challenge.


As a friend and mentor she has profoundly influenced many and been deeply transformed herself through the words, hearts and lives of those she loves.


Most precious to Rachel has been the joy of discovering daily the beauty of her personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A journey that started in her childhood, gained momentum as a student at university, and has been the source of strength, courage, and hope in her five-year battle with cancer.


Rachel lives in Vancouver, Canada, attends Westside Church and, among other things, enjoys good friends, good food, good wine, March Madness, Sunday afternoons watching NFL football, warm climates, water, and reading good books.

Photos by Anastasia Chomlack

Rachel Barkey (nee Sawer) went home to her Lord on July 2, 2009 at 37 years of age. Rachel is survived by her husband Neil and her children Quinn and Kate, parents Ben and Cathy Sawer, brother David (Johanna) Sawer and sister Andrea Sawer.


Rachel was born in London, Ontario and her life travels included years spent in Africa, growing up in Chilliwack (BC), university in London (ON) and working in Dallas (TX) before settling in Vancouver (BC). Rachel had a long career in politics and has many friends from her time working for the Conservative Party of Canada and the BC Liberal Party. A long list of career highlights do not compare to Rachel’s accomplishments as a loving wife, mother and servant of Jesus.


Rachel had a full and blessed life. She was a loving wife and mother who delighted in serving others, throwing parties, helping friends and spending days at the cabin with her family. She loved everyone selflessly and her passions were evident in everything she did. Rachel adored her children – Quinn and Kate were her greatest gifts. She will be greatly missed by her family, her friends and everyone whose life she has touched.