“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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“Too Big to Not be Involved in…” - Stephen Poquette Inspires Hope in Families Like His Own

These days, Stephen Poquette is the director of fall retreats and internships at Camp Timberline in Estes Park, Colorado. Back in November 2016, his most important job was that of caregiver to his mom, Teresa Bloss. Stephen and his brothers Josh and Andrew Bloss attended Inheritance of Hope’s Legacy RetreatⓇ to New York City shortly before Thanksgiving that year, with their mom, for what turned out to be their last family vacation together.


Stephen (left) with his mom and brothers at their NYC Legacy RetreatⓇ
Stephen (left) with his mom and brothers at their NYC Legacy RetreatⓇ


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“Where are they now?” IoH catches up with past family members

In 2015, we interviewed Tayler Chandler as she wrapped up “Walk it Out for IoH,” a 5K designed for all fitness levels that the then-high school senior planned and organized. Tayler raised $5,100, enough to send a family like hers on a Legacy RetreatⓇ!


Tayler’s “Walk it Out” paid it forward to another family like her own
Tayler’s “Walk it Out” paid it forward to another family like her own
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5 Essential Elements of an Estate Plan

The term “estate planning” is daunting. You are forced to think about life’s favorite certainties – death and taxes. Estate planning, however, is one of those things that once you put a plan in place, you will feel such a huge sense of relief. This is YOUR plan in which you make key decisions about your family, money, and health. When doing an estate plan, here are 5 key items you may consider:


Create power of attorney


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“There really is an IoH Family”

Conversation with Tom Dodd, participant on our first Legacy Retreat


August of 2018 marks the ten-year anniversary of our very first Legacy Retreat! In the summer of 2008, seven families enjoyed fun and fellowship together on the shores of Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. 


Communications Manager Angie Howell recently caught up with Tom Dodd, one of those family members. Since that first retreat, Tom has become a volunteer himself. He has served on three retreats, most recently in May 2018. On the May 2017 retreat, Tom met Heather Crawford, also a former family member turned volunteer. They are now married, raising their blended family of four boys, and Heather serves on the IoH staff as our Administrative Assistant.


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Inheritance of Hope Family Feels Southwest’s “Luv.”

In December, our family was accepted for an all-expenses paid vacation courtesy of Inheritance of Hope (IoH). IoH provides Legacy Retreats for families with children age 18 and younger in which a parent has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The four-day trip is full of fun, and intentional activities are planned to help families like ours with all we are facing.


The Mosier family arrives in Orlando for their Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat.
The Mosier family arrives in Orlando for their Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat.


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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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