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Erica Chase-Salerno on the impact of her family’s Kendra Scott-sponsored Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ

Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.

And go on an IoH retreat. Or help another family go.

Because this is an organization that walks the talk, excels at creating legacy experiences, and “gets it” about cancer challenges for families.

 

Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ presented by Kendra Scott
Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ presented by Kendra Scott
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The Faces of Holley Day: Lisa Lyon describes the importance of her family’s Kendra Scott-sponsored Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ

When I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at 28 years old with three very young children, the only thing I ever thought about or wanted was to make meaningful and fun memories with my children and husband that were full of joy. During my year of very hard cancer treatment, I would sit in the infusion chair and think “all I want to do is be with my kids.” It felt impossible to ever think I would be able to go to Orlando with my family. The Legacy RetreatⓇ was a dream come true for me, my husband, and our three kids. We spent that time focused on each other…not scary cancer, not worrying about money or all the other hard things cancer brings on for a young metastatic breast cancer patient. We had the most wonderful and magical time. When I think about our retreat, those who served us, and everyone that made it possible for our family to be there, it makes me cry and feel so much gratitude for angels on earth.

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The Faces of Holley Day: Joni Morris and her daughters Inspire Hope on October 13th

Joni Morris is one of the faces of Kendra Scott’s 3rd annual Holley Day.  She also has metastatic breast cancer. Along with her teenage daughters Kendra and Rylee, Joni is raising awareness for Inheritance of Hope in order to give other families the gift that they themselves received. The Morrises attended an all-expenses-paid Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ to Orlando in March, where they met other families in which a parent has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, received tools for navigating the difficulties they face, and perhaps, most importantly, made lifelong memories together.

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The Faces of Holley Day: Tarah Harvey Inspires Hope on October 13th

Tarah Harvey doesn’t beat around the bush, “I have metastatic breast cancer and know I am terminal.” In January, Tarah, her husband Sam, and their children Hannah and Braxton were one of ten families sponsored by Kendra Scott on an Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ to Orlando.  The all-expenses-paid trip, solely for young families affected by metastatic breast cancer, offered participants the chance to make precious memories together, meet others facing the same challenges, and take home tools to help navigate this difficult time in their lives.

 

Making lifelong memories at Disney
Making lifelong memories at Disney

 

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The Faces of Holley Day: Sham Daniel Inspires Hope on October 13th

Within a few minutes of meeting each other, Sham Daniel and Holley Kitchen knew they would be great friends.  Sham remembers, “You know how you just instantly recognize people you will connect with? Well, that was Holley.”   The two met on an Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ to Orlando in May 2015, just eight short months before Holley passed away from metastatic breast cancer.

 

Precious family memories made at Disney
Precious family memories made at Disney
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Funeral Reunion

In May 2017, when we had a big Legacy Retreat in Orlando, I got to know one of the families, the House family, pretty closely.  We had four days with the House family, and they flew by like they always do.  We do these retreats trusting that the impact is not only for four days but goes far beyond that, and with this family, I got to see that lasting impact in a powerful way.  Matt House died less than two months after the Legacy Retreat, and there were memorial services in Texas where he lived and Minnesota where he grew up, and I was able to go to the Minnesota one.  And what a funeral experience it was!

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Love Always, Serve First, Listen Well

As a new or experienced volunteer, the days leading up to a Legacy Retreat can be quite nerve-wracking. There is a lot of information to read through prior to the retreat and then abundantly more poured at you during the volunteer meeting (the night before families arrive). Beyond all that information, I knew this devotion would also be good to deliver.

 

I was inspired to do this devotion from a sermon my pastor, Brandon Bruce (Church Experience), gave back in February of this year. I actually wrote “IoH Devotion” on my sermon notes and held on to these, you know, in case I ever actually got the courage to give a devotion. I kept it all this time waiting for the right time to share, and God made it abundantly clear to me that now is the time.

 

On my sermon notes, I wrote several things, but there are three I want to share with you. If you remember nothing else from this devotion, please remember this:

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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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“There is hope for the future” - Conversation with Sue Heinzelman Katzmire, family member from our first retreat

The Heinzelmans--Sue, Mark, Jessica, and Robbie--were one of seven families on our first Legacy RetreatⓇ to Lake George in New York during the summer of 2008. Our Communications Manager, Angie Howell, recently caught up with mom Sue to hear how the family is doing now. Mark passed away in October 2009, but Sue wants other families to know that “There is hope for the future.”

 

The Heinzelman Family in Lake George, New York
The Heinzelman Family in Lake George, New York

 

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