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Anna Conti volunteers on her twentieth retreat!

On any Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ, Anna Conti’s hands are full.  With little hands. Our chief “hand-holder” and “sticker-sticker” is rarely without a charge of adoring little ones basking in the sunshine of her undivided attention.  Anna knows that debates about princesses and villains are just as important as conversations about pets, career opportunities in the superhero field, and whether to choose the kids’ mac and cheese meal or pizza. Adept at navigating Dr. Seuss Landing or Magic Kingdom, Anna is proud to call herself a “Disney girl.”  She can distract from a sugar-induced meltdown, welcome the most shy preschooler into a group, and ease any parent’s separation anxiety, because she recognizes and loves each child wholeheartedly.



This Disney girl knows how to rock a pair of mouse ears!
This Disney girl knows how to rock a pair of mouse ears!
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Jenna Maier Cooks Up Cash for Inheritance of Hope Families!

Jenna Maier, 14, wants to “ show that no matter your age, you can make a difference.”  The Willow Creek Middle School eighth grader from Rochester, Minnesota, has done just that.  In November, Jenna cooked up a fundraising campaign for Inheritance of Hope. By February, she had raised $500 selling homemade cookies.  

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My name is Kim Brock. I'm Kristen's twin sister.

 

Those who come into the world with another person, a twin, are never alone.  The lives of identical twins are so innately blended together that moving from an “us” to a “me” can seem impossible.  Losing Kris meant losing my identity--my PLURAL identity--and all of a sudden, I have found myself having to “grow up” all over again as a singular “individual.”  It is curious… exceptional… unnatural. 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Lauren Latimer, former family member served, Inspires Hope in others

Lauren Latimer vividly remembers her introduction to Inheritance of Hope, “When my mom first told me she wanted our family to go on an IoH Legacy RetreatⓇ, I was like, ‘Sorry. That doesn’t sound like fun. I don’t want to go on a cancer retreat.’”  The Latimers--mom Karen, dad Rob, Lauren, and her sister Anna--attended the January 2016 retreat to Orlando over their daughters’ objections. Lauren, at the time 17, admits that her mom guilted her into going. Now a repeat IoH volunteer, she is more than happy to concede, “A depressing ‘cancer retreat’ is the exact opposite of what IoH is.  By the end of the weekend, the volunteers and other families were my family, and I didn't want to leave. And, that is the consensus of everyone who comes on a retreat.”

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Family Spotlight: Jon and Donna Strebe Inspire Hope in Families Like Their Own

Since the Strebe family attended an Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ in February 2014, Jon and Donna have only missed a handful. Between the two of them, they have volunteered at 12 retreats. That’s worth repeating--a dozen Legacy Retreats!  

 

The Strebe family at their Legacy RetreatⓇ in February 2014
The Strebe family at their Legacy RetreatⓇ in February 2014

 

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Finish with Pride: Bob Sauer Runs the Marine Corps Marathon in Support of Inheritance of Hope Families

A chance click of the mouse led Bob Sauer to Inheritance of Hope (IoH), but his involvement since then has been nothing short of dedicated.  While scrolling through charity partners on the Marine Corps Marathon website, Bob came across the IoH logo and double-clicked to learn more.  He later received a bib through the marathon’s lottery program--meaning he could run without supporting a non-profit sponsor--but Bob was already hooked, and even decided to double his initial fundraising goal for IoH!  By race time, Bob was leading Team IoH in fundraising for the Marine Corps Marathon, and funded two children on our November 2018 New York City Legacy RetreatⓇ.

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“Instant Connection” Tenth Anniversary Conversations:  Deric Milligan shares his memories from the very first IoH Legacy RetreatⓇ

In our final installment of this series, Co-Founder and CEO Deric Milligan talks with Communications Manager Angie Howell about his memories, and what has changed in the past ten years.

 

IoH: What are some of the memories that stand out to you the most from the August 2008 Legacy RetreatⓇ to Lake George?

 

Deric: I remember each of the families and the instant connection we all felt because we were going through similar situations. The bond was simply incredible, and unlike anything I had ever experienced. One of the participants, Mark Contreras, had ALS. I remember his incredible strength and peace. Even though he struggled to speak, everyone was patient in allowing him to finish his thoughts. I remember riding the Comet, a wooden roller coaster, time after time with Mark Heinzelman as if there wasn't a care in the world, even as he battled cancer. I remember Shannon Dodd gleefully riding rides with sons Jakob and Tae just over a month before she died.

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“The Heart of IoH is still there every time” 10-year Legacy RetreatⓇ conversation with counselor Meg Hill

Communications Manager Angie Howell continues our conversations with members of the IoH family who were on our very first Legacy RetreatⓇ to Lake George in August 2008. Meg Hill served as the children’s counselor that weekend, and leading up to the retreat, began to write the curriculum that we still draw from today! Below, Meg shares her memories from ten years ago, and her thoughts about what is still the same.

 

IoH: Tell us what you remember about the August 2018 retreat at Lake George.

 

Meg: I was nervous being in charge of all the kids--Kristen and Deric had trusted me to do all the children’s groups and activities, and at one point, said to me, “you’re the kid person, tell us what to do!”

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Southwest “luvs” on Families Facing Terminal Illness

Inheritance of Hope (IoH) is a non-profit organization that inspires hope in young families facing the loss of a parent. Through all-expenses-paid Legacy RetreatsⓇ, parents who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, along with their caregiver and children, are given the opportunity to make precious memories, receive tools for navigating this difficult time in their lives, and meet others with the same fears and challenges. IoH will host retreats in Orlando, California, Colorado, and New York throughout 2018.

 

For almost every family Inheritance of Hope serves, the Legacy RetreatⓇ starts at the airport. Some of these families have children who have never flown, and some have parents who wondered how they would ever fly again. While the individual stories change, these families are all traveling at very vulnerable times in their lives, with health considerations that extend far beyond the needs of an average traveler.

 

It is only because of the persistence and compassion of our retreat team, and its corporate relationships, that our diverse retreat participants arrive ready for the life-changing experience that awaits them. Many IoH families fly Southwest Airlines to our retreats, and through our relationship, IoH has found a friend with heart.

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Meet Gina Roes, Inheritance of Hope’s new Legacy Resources Manager

Shortly after 9/11, Gina Roes answered a call for counselors to come to New York City. Without a guaranteed job, she packed up, sold her house, and moved, with her dog, to Manhattan. This spirit of trust, compassion, and courage allows her to best serve Inheritance of Hope’s families.

 

Gina Roes
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