Inheritance of Hope was founded on May 21, 2007, and we mark this anniversary with a national celebration of legacy-building.  If you are not familiar with our story, IoH was started by Kristen and Deric Milligan after Kristen was diagnosed with a rare terminal cancer.  At the time of her diagnosis, their children were just six, four, and two years old.  


While it was excruciatingly painful for Kristen to think about leaving her young family, she knew that building a legacy was worth it, so she found a unique way of changing her perspective.  Deciding that she had two primary roles--to thoughtfully find ways of showing her family how much she loved them and to make sure that her values were passed down--Kristen reframed her objective into these two facets, a focus that helped her stay hopeful.   


Kristen may have been the best legacy-builder ever--while living with cancer, she prepared cedar chests full of notes, gifts, and videos for each of her three children. Although young when their mom passed away, Kristen’s son and two daughters continue to feel her presence through the tangible ways she left a part of herself with them.

No matter how much or little time we have left, we all should live as intentionally as Kristen, and find ways to show our loved ones how important they are to us.  Leaving a legacy doesn’t have to always be serious or profound, it only has to be meaningful and authentic.  Find a way to show love to your loved ones today.


Kristen with Ashlea, Rebecca, and Luke shortly after her diagnosis
Kristen with Ashlea, Rebecca, and Luke shortly after her diagnosis


In honor of National Legacy Day, here are 21 ideas for easy and fun legacy-building activities.  A big thank you to many families who have been served by Inheritance of Hope for contributing their own ideas!























To learn more about Kristen; more about who we are at IoH; and find more information on our life-changing programs for young families with a terminally ill parent, please visit us at Inheritance Of Hope.


Read more blog posts from our Legacy Builder series focusing on the people who make the work of IoH possible.  We hope you will Live Intentionally and Build a Legacy too!