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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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“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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Hannah Black Inspires Hope through her Art

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Hannah Black’s smile says it all.

 

Hannah with her beautiful art.
Hannah with her beautiful art.


Hannah recently sold her artwork and donated all proceeds to Inheritance of Hope in memory of her mother Laura. Hannah knows all too well the challenges IoH families face, as she lost her own mother to glioblastoma in April 2016.

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How I Dealt With Death at a Young Age

There’s something about childhood that, even in old age, people find reassuring. The nostalgia and sweet memories of looking back at a simpler time in your life are priceless, and remain treasures for a lifetime. So, often times, when people imagine a 12-year-old spending her entire young life watching her Mom battle cancer, the first thought is one of sadness and sympathy. I admit, such a reaction likely would have been my initial one as well, except that when I reflect on my childhood, doom and gloom weren’t major characters, despite my Mom’s liver cancer. Although there were certainly sad times, they were fewer than many seem to think. Perhaps I am too far removed from my own life’s experience (my Mom died a little over five years ago), but as I reminisce now it seems to me that there was far more joy in my childhood than even I might have expected.

 

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Paying it Forward at Dance For Hope

The O’Gorman family attended our NYC Legacy Retreat® in November 2016. Merritt, who loves dance and was 10 years old at the time, told local news that her favorite part was watching the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the Rockettes.

 

The O'Gorman Family in Times Square
The O'Gorman Family in Times Square

 

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Things for Bryson & Colby to know about their mom

Holley Kitchen battled metastatic breast cancer before losing her fight in 2016. She put her family first. She adored her two sons, Bryson and Colby, and made the most of her time with them. She learned to live intentionally and inspired those around her to do the same. Holley’s sister and friends share some things for the boys to know about who their mom was.

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