Meet families impacted by Inheritance of Hope!
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 can we continue to support a family after their loved one has passed away? At Inheritance of Hope, our goal is to purposefully be with those left behind, to walk alongside those who grieve. We know we could never fill the emptiness that remains, but we also know this space still beautifully holds memories and much, much more. We acknowledge the loss just as we celebrate life and love.
Raising teenagers is difficult enough. Trying to do so alone is downright exhausting. Add in the complications that come along with a pandemic, and the fact that single parenting is a result of losing your spouse, and well, things could seem near impossible. Some of our IoH dads are here to tell us how they are coping after being widowed, all within the past 18 months. It’s not easy, but they are doing it, and doing it well, with hope.
Read more to hear single parenting perspectives from Bill Burch, William Nobles, and Julio Peralta.
Elliot Lannan entered a drastically different world than the one her big brother Noah, age 20, was born into. Arriving in June, smack in the middle of a pandemic, her early days have been shaped by the pace of quarantine. When Noah takes a study break, it’s Elliot he seeks out, and since her parents are working from home, they document (almost) every gummy smile and marvel at every baby belly laugh. In the evenings, she bops along to frequent dance parties, listens to the music of Jeffrey James, and, from the comfort of her bouncy seat, observes the occasional ultra-competitive Rummikub game. Like many families, the Lannans are embracing the extra time they have together. But, the contrast between her childhood and Noah’s doesn't stop there, because Elliot will never know a family not marred by cancer.
|Elliot Lannan, at five months old. Photo credit: Halli Lannan|
On October 11, 2020, Dana Gilmour ran the Chicago Marathon, by himself, near his home of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He was the only runner in this race, but he wasn’t alone. Friends, supporters, his children, and women affected in some way by breast cancer joined him for the last few miles, and all along the route he carried the legacy of his late wife Amy.
|Dana with his supporters, the proudest of whom are his children. Son Davin shared, “I thought he did a really good job because he completed his goals of raising money.”|
October 26 marks eight years since our Co-Founder Kristen Milligan passed away. Kristen spent too much time in the gray space of uncertainty--waiting at doctor’s offices, waiting for test results, waiting for a cure. In 2010, she wrote about this state of living in one of her blog posts titled “Waiting Room.”
“In fact, each of us spends our entire life in the ‘waiting room,’ wondering what God’s plan is and wrestling to discern His purpose for us, all the while struggling against it because we would prefer to think we know best. A major life event like a surgery or life-threatening illness only brings that reality to the fore.”
Originally written in September 2010, Kristen’s words hold true a decade later.
I just heard Jonny Diaz's "Waiting Room" on the radio for the first time. With another major surgery approaching and the thought of hours waiting for the results, the lyrics immediately captured my attention:
Here in this waiting room yearning for You to say go
And though I’m convinced that a yes would be best
This time You’re telling me no
It's not that I don't have an answer
It's just not the one that I'd like
But through this time Lord I must keep in mind
You're always wiser than I