For months, Leeland Garrison heard about Inheritance of Hope. His school raised money to send families on Legacy Retreats®, and then his dad became a retreat volunteer last November. A friend attended the April 2020 eLegacy Retreat™, and by July, Leeland decided he wanted to be involved himself. So, the entrepreneurial rising fourth-grader and budding philanthropist organized a lemonade stand.
“I had the idea to do one a couple of years ago, but we just never followed through with it,” he says. “But I started learning a lot about IoH, and my dad went on a retreat, and all this crazy stuff happened like my friend’s mom got cancer. So, my mom said we could have one on the Fourth of July.” And have one they did.
|Leeland’s marketing strategies helped him easily surpass his fundraising goal!|
“I always shift back to hope and gratitude,” says Lynne Cao on how she deals with her metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. She isn’t sure why. Maybe it is because she has a good support system, maybe it is for her two young children, or maybe it is the undying optimism of an immigrant.
|Lynne Cao with her family--husband Mike and children Katherine and Carter--on their family’s IoH Legacy Retreat® to Orlando in February 2020|
“I pray, and pray, and pray, and then I pray some more,” shares Shirley Derricot on her approach to life. She is honest--there is a lot to pray for, from staying safe during the pandemic to hoping that her two Black sons stay safe out in the world.
For Jennifer Dorado, there is a way to live through a pandemic with metastatic breast cancer, “One day at a time.” The 37-year-old mother of three, former competitive softball player, and unrelenting optimist has a simple but effective outlook, “A positive mind gives you a positive future.” Staying upbeat as she wakes every day, and pushing through, no matter how sapped her energy may be, has helped her navigate the challenges of parenting with a terminal illness, because, she knows, “I have too much to fight for.”
|Jennifer Dorado’s family surrounds her with love on their IoH Legacy Retreat®|
Inheritance of Hope spoke with two of Holley Kitchen’s sisters, Missy Hobbs and Teri Larcom. They shared with us three pieces of advice based on how Holley lived out her last months. Holley battled metastatic breast cancer and passed away in January 2016. She serves on as a champion for researching a cure and building an intentional legacy. We celebrate her on "Holley Day", October 13.
Of all the things Holley Rothell Kitchen wanted to be—wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend—the role she is most widely known for is something no one wants to be: the face of metastatic breast cancer. Like most true heroes, Holley was an ordinary woman facing extraordinary circumstances. How she soared beyond those confines will forever define her as a champion of this disease.
Erin Leland set her alarm for 5:30 am every morning. The full-time teacher, mom, wife, and activist had a lot to do and didn’t want to miss a moment. Her 11-year-old twins, husband Rich, her high school English students, and the other women she met through METAvivor were the reasons she woke up so early.
Diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2018, Erin died from the disease, which has no cure, far too soon. But not before the 42-year-old made the kind of impact it takes most people a much longer lifetime to make.
|Rich and Erin Leland with their children Keira and Quinn|
When jewelry designer Kendra Scott created the Metastatic Breast Cancer Necklace Charm Set, she honored a friendship cut short. When Cindy Fish gave the pendant to Becca Willson, she did the same. And though neither Cindy nor Becca have ever met Kendra, their stories are now linked by more than the intricate chain.
Kendra Scott’s delicate yet durable butterfly-themed charm set
evokes strength through endurance and beauty through change.
Connections. That is what we do best here at Inheritance of Hope. Connecting families who feel isolated, scared, and often hopeless. So, how are those connections working now via Zoom?
In short, pretty well!
On August 21st-23rd, we welcomed 17 families to our second IoH eLegacy Retreat™. We haven’t hugged them in person yet, but we are family. There is nothing virtual about these relationships, and while the IoH experience can never fully be described, here is what some of our newest family members have to say.