On January 19-22, Inheritance of Hope, in partnership with Kendra Scott, hosted 10 families facing a terminal metastatic breast cancer diagnosis on a life-changing experience in Orlando, Florida. The Legacy Retreat®, Inheritance of Hope’s signature offering, is an all-expenses-paid experience where families create lifelong memories and receive tools to navigate the challenges of a parent’s terminal illness. The event, presented by Kendra Scott, included visits to Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld.
After years of both physical and mental decline for my Grandmother Milligan, the moment we’ve tried to ignore finally hit on Friday morning:
Grandmother Milligan’s health is very poor and she will likely pass away today and perhaps in the next hour or so. Please keep the family in your prayers.
I cannot think of Grandmother without thinking of the striking way she was described by Kristen Milligan, Inheritance of Hope’s co-founder who died in this month five years ago. Kristen's book Consider It Pure Joy begins with her going to the hospital for surgery, commencing what became a nine-year journey with cancer. She had a special visitor:
To speak of hope implies that there is a problem. If there were no problems, there would be no need for hope. The problem that generates our particular mission of hope was stated with remarkable simplicity and power recently by a young lady named Makenna Wehe, a Legacy Scholarship winner. This 18-year-old girl really struck me with her articulation of the kind of hope-needing situation Inheritance of Hope serves. I encourage you to watch her say it herself, but these are her words, talking about her mom:
“We had to replace her entire spine with synthetic bone… she hasn’t really been the same since… Over Mother’s Day weekend we found 4 more tumors scattered up and down her spine… It caused us to appreciate the time that we have with each other… Cancer just tears at you and tears you apart, and when your family’s afraid to be vulnerable with each other, it’s like a wedge between you and your relationships… I’m just afraid of losing my mom; I’m afraid that she’s gonna die. I think there’s a childish fear, a child that still lives within me that is still really afraid – it’s a little girl afraid to lose her mommy.”
Carol Lacert and Theresa Whyard-McKinley, whose families have both been impacted by terminal illness, love helping other families in similar situations enjoy Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreats®. They enthusiastically fundraise so that more families from Northern Colorado can have the Legacy Retreat® experience. They recently joined forces with Resurrection Christian School in Loveland, Colorado, with great success.
For the first time ever, Inheritance of Hope families enjoyed an Orlando Legacy Retreat® in the luxurious accommodations of Embassy Suites by Hilton. On Feb. 24-27, 8 families from across the country had fun with 2 days at Universal Studios and a day at SeaWorld. Beyond the memories, they gained community, tools, and hope to navigate the challenges of a parent's terminal illness.
Check out these links to see pictures and videos!
The Christmas season is a great time to make family memories. However, discovering lice in your home, as a friend recently did – while hosting an extended family Christmas gathering – is not the kind of Christmas memory anyone wants! It’s hard to think of anything more universally despised than these nasty bugs that take up residence in our hair. We describe things we dislike as “lousy,” which literally means infested with lice. Even the mere idea of lice is so potent that some of you may get the sensation of itchiness on your heads just by reading this!
The November 2016 NYC Legacy Retreat® was our largest retreat yet in New York! 21 families braved cold and windy conditions to make priceless memories and begin forming lasting legacies. This event also marked the 25th Legacy Retreat® in our history.
Check out these links to see pictures and videos!
Jeff Carter attended the May 2014 Orlando Legacy Retreat® with his family. Since his wife was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, he has taken up endurance fitness, and he paid forward his Legacy Retreat® experience by using his Florida Ironman training to promote Inheritance of Hope. Check out this video interview:
Not even a hurricane could stop 17 families from enjoying our Orlando Legacy Retreat® on Oct. 8-11! Thanks to a team of dedicated and adaptable volunteers and the above-and-beyond hospitality of the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando - Disney Springs Area, families relaxed, made priceless memories, formed strong friendships, and began creating hope-filled legacies.
Check out these links see pictures and videos!
A year ago, I reflected on the wonder of “Unto us a child is born,” which took on fresh richness as Allison and I experienced new parenthood along with Advent. Now we can hardly believe that we have been parents for a year already! Our baby girl has grown and changed so much, and so have we. As Advent scriptures and songs once again circulate, different parts of them grab my attention. In a recent reading of Isaiah 9, the phrase “Everlasting Father” struck me. I love my little girl to death, but that is tragically literal – some day death will interrupt my fatherly love. An “Everlasting Father” is worthy of reflection.