Serving families with a terminally-ill parent and young children
Most people shy away from the topic of death. It is scary and depressing. Yet there are thousands of families each year who receive a diagnosis that comes with a very poor prognosis. One such family is the Milligans. Kristen Milligan was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer on her 30th birthday. She wanted to prepare her three young children for her potential death. She wrote a children’s book, A Train’s Rust, A Toymaker’s Love, and an autobiography, Consider it Pure Joy. Her heart longed to help other young families dealing with a terminal diagnosis and young children. Out of this desire came Inheritance of Hope (IOH), a non-profit that serves families with young children and a parent battling a life-threatening illness. The primary way IOH serves these families is through a Legacy Retreat® , an all-expenses paid trip where 16 families get to make family memories, form a community with other families who truly understand what they are going through, and gain tools and resources to leave a lasting legacy. Kristen passed away on October 26, 2012 leaving behind an amazing legacy! She was my best friend and it was an honor and joy to walk through life’s journeys with her! She was very prepared for her death physically, emotionally and spiritually and her family was as well. She is the picture of intentionality and she absolutely made the most of every day she was given. She is still inspiring others to be intentional about their legacy and to be prepared for their death. Terminal prognosis or not, we are all going to die someday. Death is not the worst thing, not being prepared for it is. Every Family Deserves a Legacy®. I am proud to continue her legacy as the Director of the Legacy Retreats® where we have served over 130 families. Her husband, Deric, is the Executive Director and is a passionate advocate for legacy. All of the families we have served will attest to the life-changing impact of their Legacy Retreat on their family.