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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 quickly and confidently replied, “Because you gave my son the hope I wanted him to have.”   Now, she has committed to share that same gift by volunteering for IoH. Living with metastatic breast cancer, Dionna is in good company. Tracy Higley, Melinda Hodge, and Tarah Harvey share the same diagnosis and dare it to determine their outlook.  Along with Kendra Scott and IoH, they work to inspire hope in others affected by the disease.

All four of these women could choose to give their time to several organizations, but after attending Legacy RetreatsⓇ with their families, these women chose IoH.  Each was eager to serve as they had been served. Tarah helped out at her local Kendra Scott store this past October on Holley Day, a special in-store event when a portion of all sales were donated to IoH.  She and Dionna have also filled out applications to volunteer on a future retreat, and Dionna will be contributing from home in February.

On our upcoming retreat, Tracy and Melinda will mark a special moment for IoH, one we celebrate with anticipation, hope, and gratitude.  Although several past retreat participants come back to volunteer with IoH, (66 past family members served returned as Legacy Retreat volunteers in 2018!) they will be some of the first retreat volunteers with metastatic breast cancer.  Coming back to the very same retreat their families were served on last year, Tracy, Melinda, and Melinda’s daughter Katelyn will all be volunteering at the Kendra Scott-sponsored IoH Legacy RetreatⓇ to Orlando in February.

Here, we share some of their thoughts that inspire hope in us.  Click on each link to read more about Tracy, Melinda, Tarah, and Dionna.

Tracey Higley Quote
“I’m strong and healthy now like anyone else, and it is empowering for me to be able to help others. I want to take advantage of times like this to hopefully inspire someone else.”
Tracy Higley, IoH diagnosed parent served and volunteer. 
Dionna Koval Quote
“I just want other patients to know it is not always doom and gloom.  You keep going, and you never know. Statistics are just numbers. I have been here longer than was expected and now I have a new goal. I continue to believe and hope, and I think I can give women on the upcoming IoH retreat that same kind of hope.”
Dionna Koval, IoH diagnosed parent served and volunteer.
Melinda Hodge quote
“Cancer is an ugly disease, but I have also seen good because of it.  I have seen the kindness of strangers, the good others are capable of, and that is a beautiful thing–to see where blessings are even in a difficult time.”
Melinda Hodge, IoH diagnosed parent served and volunteer.
Tarah Harvey Quote
“I have cancer, but cancer doesn’t have me. I won’t let it steal my good days–it has taken a lot, but I won’t let it take away my happiness with my family.”  Tarah Harvey, IoH diagnosed parent served and volunteer.

Angie Howell graduated from Davidson College, where she met Kristen Grady Milligan the first week of their freshman year. Kristen eventually started Inheritance of Hope with her husband Deric, and Angie heard about their work at a college reunion.  In 2010, the two former hallmates got back in touch, and Angie became involved in IoH shortly afterwards. She has served as a Legacy Retreat volunteer, Coordinator, and now, as Communications Manager, Angie helps tell the stories of IoH. She is constantly inspired by the people she meets in the IoH family. Read more Inheritance of Hope blogposts >>