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The Gifts of My Mother

The gifts that I have received from my Mom following her death have been of immeasurable value, but no more so than the ones I received from her while she was alive. The true value of her gifts have come from the knowledge that she was considering me and my future years before I was. The intentionality that she displayed as a mother is something I intend to replicate, whether or not I am diagnosed with a terminal cancer.

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Rebecca Milligan on the importance of leaving children a legacy

Rebecca Milligan on the importance of leaving children a legacy
“This is important--you should do it even if you don’t want to.”  --Rebecca Milligan   Rebecca Milligan has invaluable advice for terminally ill parents. Still in elementary school when her mother, Kristen, died, Rebecca is now seventeen, and can hon...
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Remembering our Co-Founder, Kristen Milligan

October 26th marks the seventh anniversary of when Inheritance of Hope Co-Founder Kristen Milligan passed away.  In those seven years, her children have reached milestone birthdays, high school rites of passage, started driving, and two have gone off to college.  Through changes and achievements, growing pains and successes, they have never felt far from their mother’s love, all because of the notes, gifts, videos and more that Kristen prepared while living with a terminal illness.

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My Reasons for Starting Inheritance of Hope

My Reasons for Starting Inheritance of Hope
Inheritance of Hope was founded in 2007 by Kristen and Deric Milligan, and although Kristen passed away in 2012, her legacy is timeless.  I am a woman fighting a terminal diagnosis of stage 4 liver cancer.  But this does not define me.  I am also a w...
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Faces of Holley Day: Metastatic breast cancer patients reciprocate love through Inheritance of Hope and Kendra Scott

Faces of Holley Day: Metastatic breast cancer patients reciprocate love through Inheritance of Hope and Kendra Scott
First posted on January 22, 2019 in advance of the Kendra Scott-sponsored Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ. We celebrate these amazing women and their commitment to give back! When asked why she gives her time to Inheritance of Hope, Dionna Koval ...
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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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Choosing Joy Amidst Great Loss

Aisha Thomas is choosing joy, just weeks after her husband Brad passed away. How is she doing it?  Here she shares her tips, advice, and daily routines for faith-keeping and faith-building in a time that could feel hopeless.

 

I know God’s love is real because I could not get out of bed on my own.  They don’t tell you this: you wake up and it takes a couple of seconds. You think you are still in your old life.  If it were just Aisha, I would be lying in bed all day, but because of what the love of Jesus gives us, I’m able to turn over the covers.  I also feel him through my kids, my mother, through friends reaching out, and my church. When I put the title of “widow” on, I just want to go to the corner, huddle and say, “this is my life.”  But God stretches me to let them love me and for me to love them back.

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Choosing Joy

Just a few weeks into life without her husband Brad, Aisha Thomas has made one thing clear--she is choosing joy and gratitude.  The two are inextricably linked, and for Aisha, one begets the other. In continuing the family’s practice of gratitude, which the family does indeed practice every day, Aisha acknowledges what she is thankful for, and she acknowledges more than most people.  The mom of three and school principal admits it’s not easy, “I will say, it is the hardest time of joy-choosing. With kids, it is not necessarily hard to find it, but it is hard to choose it.” 

 

The Thomas family--all smiles on their IoH Legacy RetreatⓇ
The Thomas family--all smiles on their IoH Legacy RetreatⓇ
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Tyler Emmerd Speaks up for Inheritance of Hope

Over the summer, fourteen-year-old Tyler Emmerd chose to focus on Inheritance of Hope for a speech that he gave to 30 of his peers--well, if you can call seniors peers to an incoming high school freshman!   Tyler admits to some serious nerves before taking this required class, but he nailed it! 

 

Tyler and his family attended the Orlando May 2017 Legacy RetreatⓇ, and he counts visiting Sea World among his favorite memories. This animal lover had always wanted to see a sea turtle in person, but spending time with his parents, Melinda and Mike, and siblings Hailey, Ryan, and Cayla was even better, “We loved spending time with each other without the stress of cancer in our lives.  I love looking back on our vacation and remembering how special it was in all of our pictures we have,” he says.  

 

Tyler (second from right) and his family ready to take on Universal Studios
Tyler (second from right) and his family ready to take on Universal Studios
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Inheriting Hope and Leaving a Legacy

Fourteen-year-old Tyler Emmerd chose to focus on Inheritance of Hope for a speech that he gave to 30 of his peers.



Tyler and his family attended the Orlando May 2017 Legacy RetreatⓇ, and he counts visiting Sea World among his favorite memories. This animal lover had always wanted to see a sea turtle in person, but spending time with his parents, Melinda and Mike, and siblings Hailey, Ryan, and Cayla was even better, “We loved spending time with each other without the stress of cancer in our lives.  I love looking back on our vacation and remembering how special it was in all of our pictures we have,” he says.  

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