Kathy Midkiff ran the Chicago marathon—her first—this past October in support of Inheritance of Hope (IoH). Her fundraising goal was to raise enough money to send an entire family on a Legacy Retreat®. Kathy’s daughter-in-law, Kerri Midkiff, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2009, and since then Kathy has seen firsthand the difficulties that IoH families face.
Friday, March 13, 2015, Jerusalem Half Marathon: Runners climb paths long traveled by pilgrims. They gaze upon landscapes that have been treasured and disputed for ages. The paths are now roads and the scenes have been added to, but the place is timeless—as are the struggles and dreams of its people. Men and women of many nations pass through the Jaffa Gate under the watchtower of David and exit the Old City through the Zion Gate. They run along the once-cursed Valley of Gehenna, past a U.N. peace-keeping site, and close to the tense area of East Jerusalem. And, the marathoners run by ancient sites, holy sites, places that are sacred. With each step, one runner offers a silent prayer. With each new view, she senses the courage that new life will one day be ushered in. With each breath, she hopes for this nation to find peace with God.
Sunday, March 15, 2015, New York City Half Marathon: Cheers from hundreds of voices fill the air, smiles of encouragement grace diverse faces, and opportunity is demonstrated on every corner. The course begins in Central Park and passes by evidence of what is possible—down broad avenues flanked by the rewards of prosperity, through the excitement of Times Square, and into revitalized neighborhoods along the Hudson River. The runners race past the World Trade Center site and Battery Park. They finish on Wall Street. With each step, one runner offers a praise of thanks. With each new view, she feels courage that God is as present now as ever. With each breath, she hopes that one day all people will know the Prince of Peace and His peace that passes all understanding.
Over the weekend of March 13th-15th, Lisa Duscio, Team Inheritance of Hope Coordinator and Legacy Retreat® volunteer, completed a marathon spanning two continents: the Jerusalem Half Marathon and the New York City Half Marathon. The routes and experiences may have seemed divergent, but her goal and heart were of one mind.
The first time Kimberly Loving received mail about Inheritance of Hope and its Legacy Retreats®, she placed the letter in a basket and walked away.
“I was so sick I couldn’t think about it,” she said.
It wasn’t until months later
“I can’t believe this is coming out of my mouth,” Kristen Ricciardelli said, “but I actually think it’s easier to be an active cancer patient than a post-cancer patient.”
She spoke from experience.
The mother of four from Milwaukee was still breast feeding her 8-month-old daughter when
Kim Bunner said living with cancer for more than a decade has given her perspective.
The illness brought her closer to her husband, Matt, and showed her children, 15-year-old Haylee and 12-year-old Cameron, how to be considerate, Kim said.
“You hate to say that something that is so hard on a family is a blessing,” she said.
“We see what stress really is and what stress really isn’t.”
Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, when Cameron was six months old.
Mikki Jeschke’s goals include volunteering, fundraising, and launching a non-profit organization. But the mother of two from Fishers, Indiana, didn’t have these projects in mind when she attended the Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat® at Disney World with her family in May last year.
Mikki’s first diagnosis in May 2009 revealed stage III breast cancer. Chemotherapy, radiation, and drug treatments followed, and the Jeschkes thought
Amy and Adam Patwa attended an Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat® in Orlando with their daughter, Charis, in May 2012.
“The timing of it was totally perfect,” Amy said. “I can’t walk around Magic Kingdom today.”
She was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer in summer 2010, but chemotherapy and radiation appeared to control the disease in a matter of months.
In spring 2011 Amy started having chest pains.
Jenifer Sisco, a teacher and mother of three from Midland, Michigan, was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in May 2011. Then came Jenifer’s first surgery after the diagnosis.
“The news we got was worse than we expected,” said Michael, Jenifer’s husband.
The surgery and further testing showed cancer had spread to Jenifer’s bones.
“It was complete shock because of how young I am and the fact I have young children,” Jenifer said.
Shari Elliot and her husband Rob are self-described Google researchers. The couple living in Bradenton, Fla. browses message boards and networks with cancer patients. Both veterans of the medical industry, they are not afraid to look up scientific journals and read detailed reports about developments in cancer treatment.
This information is important for Shari to accomplish her personal goal: to live for 10 years after her diagnosis.