“Legacy Builder” describes Martha Tofteland perfectly. Not only did she help her late husband Ryan leave tangible evidence of his love for their young children, but she donates monthly to Inheritance of Hope so that other families might access the same resources that helped them. The Toftelands attended an IoH Legacy Retreat® to California when their children were just six and three years old. Nervous about how sensitive topics might be introduced to their kids, who had not yet heard their dad described as “sick,” the Toftelands found that IoH gave Ryan courage and tools to begin the heartbreaking, yet vital task of creating legacy items for Finn and Liv, now ages nine and six.
The Toftelands hold on to smiles like these from their IoH Legacy Retreat® in 2018. Ryan passed away 18 months later, in February 2020, at the age of 40.
“Happiness comes from knowing you’ve helped someone,” says Jason Crawford, age 11. As our youngest Legacy Builder, Jason would certainly know. Earlier this year, he made the commitment to give monthly to Inheritance of Hope so that other kids could have the same experience he had when he was just five.
Jason remembers only a few details from his family’s IoH Legacy Retreat® to Orlando--riding Splash Mountain and being tickled by his dad--but he does remember feeling loved. Less than two years later, Jason’s dad John passed away from ALS. Jason particularly wants other kids in the same situation to know that they are not alone, because he understands exactly what that can feel like, “I did feel alone at some points, but people helped me. My mom, my family, and my friends.” And, IoH.
Jane Augur is authentic, right down to her British accent “from a place so small, if you mentioned it, no one would have ever heard of it.”
As a Legacy Video Coach, Jane is not afraid to acknowledge “the elephant in the room,” and wants the families she serves to know that she prays for them, earnestly and often. “I get a really privileged glimpse into their lives and it just brings me to my knees in prayer.”
Inheritance of Hope volunteers mean it when they call a family “theirs.” Just ask Colleen Urlaub and Judy Guerra. Judy was the volunteer paired with Colleen’s family at the Orlando Legacy Retreat® in February 2019, and the two former strangers are now family.
|Brad, Christel, Ashley, and Colleen Urlaub with Judy Guerra (far right) in Orlando|
First published in February 2011, we repost Kristen's words in honor of all the volunteers who have blessed Inheritance of Hope families through the years. You have been the hands and feet of Jesus as you serve wholeheartedly with love.
“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
Last month, I was honored to participate in the most recent Legacy Retreat held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Because my body was not strong enough to participate as fully as in the past, I found myself doing a lot more sitting quietly and observing what was going on around me, and something struck me as incredibly beautiful. If you have never been a part of a Legacy Retreat, it is difficult to explain, so I will try to paint you a picture …
In 2017, Amy and Andrew Thomas attended an in-person Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat® with their three-year-old son, River. Amy was first diagnosed with breast cancer when River was just one, and then re-diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer two and a half years later. Until their retreat, Amy did not know any other young mothers with a terminal diagnosis, and Andrew had not met other male caregivers with children still at home.
|The Thomas Family found Hope in NYC|
How many rubber band bracelets does it take to send one child on an Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat®?
|Nine-year-old Hayden Cochran raised $1300 for IoH families|