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Volunteer Spotlight: Haylee Bunner

Haylee Bunner turned in her Inheritance of Hope volunteer application as soon as she could--the very day she turned 18. She had been waiting for the chance to serve families like hers for quite some time. Haylee, her brother Cameron, and their parents Matthew and Kim attended an Orlando Legacy Retreat® in May 2012. Kim passed away a little over a year later.

 

“I knew that volunteering was something my mom would have done had she been healed.“  Haylee describes Kim as someone who loved to help other people. “To know that her death gave me the ability to understand much of what these families are going through would have given her peace.”

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Family Spotlight: Strebe Family

Strebe Family at Their Legacy Retreat®
Strebe Family at their Legacy Retreat®

The Strebe family—Jon, Donna, Luke, Ryan, and Emma Kate—attended an Orlando Legacy Retreat® in February 2014, shortly after Jon underwent a bone marrow transplant and thoracic surgery. At the time, he was battling stage 3 testicular cancer metastases to the lungs.  Donna remembers that the trip to Orlando came at a very emotional time.

 

“It had been a tough year, and the volunteers served from the bottom of their souls and blessed us. We said from that point forward we would serve as long as we were able.”

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Meet the Barnhart Family

I had never heard of a Legacy Retreat® or Inheritance of Hope (IoH) until my daughter, Emma Barnhart, told me about it – how her family had been nominated to be a part of one of those retreats and how excited she was about Inheritance of Hope’s purpose and mission statement. They exist solely to honor families where one parent has a life-threatening illness. And in that honoring, they also offer fun, support, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and assistance in leaving a legacy.
 
“Every person deserves a legacy,” Emma said, “even if it’s a story of an excitedly terrifying ride on a roller coaster! How cool is that?”
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Meet the Reese Family

Paul Reese and his family live in Mississippi, but lately he hasn't been home very often.
 
Paul makes regular visits to his oncologist in Little Rock, Arkansas. His wife, Cheryl, started training with a ministry in Missouri. And in May the Reeses attended an Inheritance of Hope (IoH) Legacy Retreat® in Orlando.
 
“This has been one of the most unusual summers of my life,” Paul said. “I have probably spent more time away from home than at home.”
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Meet the Allen Family

Rawd Allen was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 1994, but February 2014 happened to be the opportune time to attend an Inheritance of Hope (IoH) Legacy Retreat®.

 
Rawd's last tumor surgery was 10 years ago, when his children, Nathan and Jordan, were very young.  Besides a seizure, Rawd’s wife, Jan, said her kids saw very little of Rawd’s illness.  However, doctors noticed spots during a routine check-up late last year.  The Allens were preparing for Rawd to resume treatment when they received an opportunity to go to Disney World with Inheritance of Hope.
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Meet the Rye Family

The wintry weather in New York City was a bit of a challenge for the Rye family from Florida, but Joel Rye said it didn't stop his family from making memories at the Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat® in November 2013.
 
“We'll always remember all the people of IoH being so loving and giving,” he said. “It was just stress free.”
   
The past two years have been particularly challenging for Joel's family. Almost a decade after doctors first discovered melanoma on his ear, Joel learned his cancer had spread. Doctors said he had mere months to live.
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Meet the Johnson Family

At first Paul and Alexis Johnson from Fresno, Calif., weren’t sure if the Inheritance of Hope (IoH) Legacy Retreat® was right for them. Paul was feeling better and their children were both less than three years old. But much in their past five years has been unexpected.

“When you’re living your life MRI to MRI, it’s hard to plan ahead,” Alexis said.

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Meet the Maier Family

“We knew about Inheritance of Hope (IoH) for a while but never realized how incredible it was until we were a part of it,” said Jay Maier.  Jay, his wife Tara, and their five children lived near IoH Legacy Retreat® Director Jill Thompson in Rochester, Minn. Tara said her family prayed for the families that went on Legacy Retreats® but didn’t expect to attend one themselves.

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Meet the Young Family

Phyllis Young learned about Inheritance of Hope when a local North Carolina television station featured the organization. She immediately knew her family would enjoy going to an IOH Legacy Retreat®.

“I knew we took things for granted and we needed to take some time to step back and enjoy being a family,” she said.

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Meet the Martin Family

When Amy Martin from North Carolina was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, her two oldest children, John and Jennifer, were respectively off at college and working in California. But her youngest, Lyndi, was 7 years old and still lived at home.  “She has grown up with the ups and downs of the cancer world,” Amy said. “You worry about

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