The journey of marathons and side roads… and Team Inheritance of Hope.




Welcome to the new Team Inheritance of Hope blog!  I’ll be blogging about endurance events, athletes, Inheritance of Hope events and happenings, families and much more.  I’m excited to get on with this journey!  I want to tell you a little about how I became involved with Team Inheritance of Hope…


I met Deric and Kristen Milligan through a mutual friend in the early fall of 2004.  A year or so earlier, Kristen had been through surgery to remove a large, malignant tumor in her liver.  When I met Kristen, she had just been told that the cancer had metastasized to her lungs.  My heart went out to Kristen because of this devastating news and the grim prognosis.  Kristen had 3 small children and she was fearful for their possible future without their mom.  Kristen’s passion became finding support and tools to aid her children, and building a legacy that would bless and comfort her children in the years ahead.  
Unable to locate much (if any) support for young families facing a life-threatening illness, Deric and Kristen founded Inheritance of Hope in 2007 to do just that.

As time went on, my relationship with Kristen grew closer.   You see, we each had daughters the same age, that were (and still are!) very fond of each other.  It seems children have a way of getting you involved in other people’s lives!  Also, in 2001, I had been diagnosed with life-threatening cancer.  This common experience caused a strong bond between Kristen and I – one of the positive ‘side-effects’ of what was otherwise a very negative circumstance!  My daughter was 2 1/2 years old when I was diagnosed and I remember vividly the fear that grips your heart – the fear for you child’s future – quite possibly without you.

So, with Inheritance of Hope founded, and more and more families contacting them for support, the need arose to raise more funds.  In 2007, I had completed the NYC Marathon, running with a charity.  The thought occurred that perhaps this would be a way to raise funds for Inheritance of Hope.  Deric signed up for 10 spots with the 2009 Marine Corps Marathon and asked me in August 2009 to coordinate Team Inheritance of Hope.  We had 10 runners run the MCM, raising more than $16,000.  Deric was one of the runners – and so was I  – my second marathon.  Everyone on the Team had a great time and was inspired knowing that the funds raised would send families on an all expense paid Legacy Retreat – where family members build precious memories and find ongoing support during this difficult time in their lives.

Inheritance of Hope calls itself a young organization with a big vision.  This is so true, and more and more families are seeking support.  The mission of Team Inheritance of Hope is to enter quality endurance events, and enlist more and more runners/walkers/bikers/swimmers to raise much needed funds through sponsors supporting them in their endeavor.  Individuals can enter ‘solo’ events of their choosing and run for the Team as well.  Athletes have the opportunity to accomplish entering and completing a major endurance event while supporting families that cannot accomplish this type of feat right now.

I’m excited about the future of Inheritance of Hope and Team Inheritance of Hope.  Families and athletes alike, whether participating in a Legacy Retreat or running a marathon, will find encouragement, support and hope.  And, one of the greatest benefits I see, children will find support and learn tools to be overcomers as they are on this family journey.

A friend (who had been through a similar diagnosis) told me when I was diagnosed, “Lisa, think of this as a detour from the highway of life that you have been on to a slower side road.  You are still moving forward but at a different pace with different scenery.”  Sometimes the hardest part is that the journey is just “different” from what you’re used to or from what you expect your life should be.  This is the time that we have to step up and go forward for ourselves and for  those around us.  This is what Inheritance of Hope is trying to do for families.  There is support and hope, and others that understand what you are going through.  You’re not on this journey by yourself.

Inheritance of Hope exists to help families in their journey of a parent facing a life-threatening illness.

Godspeed to you – whether you’re training for your first marathon, traveling an unknown ‘side road’, or on a super highway.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. aaron

    Great story Lisa. I would tweet it, but I don’t tweet!

  2. Heather M

    This is great Lisa. I love the blog and the daily mile. I hope to see you in Chicago.

  3. Linda Stoll

    I’m looking forward to following the blog … and continuing to minister alongside you! What a life-changing privilege it is to partner with Kristen, Deric, and the rest of the IoH gang!

  4. Tina

    A very thoughtful beginning for your blog Lisa, please keep writing and we’ll keep reading and sharing.

Comments are closed.