I have a very unique story with the Inheritance of Hope (IOH) organization. It has truly been an honor to be apart of such an amazing group of people that have a desire to serve and minister to others! I adore this organization and consider them all family.
My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer at the young age of 46 in November of 2009. As scray as this was, we stayed positive and kept faith in the lord that he will provide a miracle. In the early spring of the following year, my family was elected to go to an IOH retreat in Lake George, NY in June 2010. My dad was almost in disbelief. He told me, "All expenses paid, really"? "What's the catch"? It was hard to convince him that it was real! So on an early morning of June 2010, my family boarded their first airplane ever and landed in New York a short time later, not knowing a single sole. They spent 5 days with people they had never meet before and left with a lifetime of friendships.
They came back to tell me about all these great things, about how much fun they had, and all these amazing people they had met on their trip. It seemed almost life-changing. It was almost as if they were reenergized to continue the fight with my mom. They also informed me of volunteer opportunities through the organization. I brushed it off at first, didnt put alot of thought into it, really didnt think I would have time for it. However, they kept telling me over and over about how great IOH really is. They spoke so highly fo the organization, I decided to volunteer that fall. So in January of 2011 I was on the list to be a volunteer in Orlando, FL at Walt Disney World for IOH. Not knowing what to expect I went into this retreat with open arms. My family tried to prepare me the best they could. I knew I would be serving other families in their fight with other volunteers.
Less than 2 weeks prior to the time I was supposed to leave to volunteer, we suffered the loss of my mother. Anne Tripp passed away December 23, 2010 in Gothenburg, NE. Some of you can only imagine the pain and suffering we went through, and some of you know what it is like to go through something as tramatic as this was. However, not for a minute was I going to let this prevent me from volunteering in Florida.
I boarded a plane in Omaha, NE at 5:30am (I'm not a morning person FYI) on a cold winter day in January. It seemed like just minutes later (I slept the whole time) that I landed in sunny Florida to be greeted by Jill Thompson of IOH. And the rest is history. Talking and laughing with Jill put me at ease. I instantly was overwhelmed with HOW GREAT this organization truly is. Jill had met my family in June of the previous year and had a powerful understanding of my situation. I met other volunteers throughout the day and we were prepared, the best we could, of what to expect at a retreat. I was a little nervous, but very excited as well.
At the Walt Disney retreat in January 2011 I met 15 extraordinary families that were in need of Hope. They came from all different walks of life, from all over the country. I was changed that weekend. I have a new understanding of what serving others means. Meeting these people, getting to know and pray for these families was an honor. We went to the theme parks, ate breakfast and dinner, and all the other activites we had that weekend were second to none. Helping a family in this way and having a pretty good understanding of what they are going through gave me a "leg up". It is hard to describe in words what happened that weekend in Florida. I enjoyed every minute of my time with these families those 5 days. I will never forget my first retreat for IOH. It is something I will always hold near and dear to my heart.
To volunteer at a retreat was the most impactful thing I have EVER done. I fully intend to continue to support, pray for, volunteer, raise funds and build this organization.
Jeremiah J. Tripp
My namd is Michael Elliott and I am a bone marrow transplant survivor with an auto-imune disorder called GVHD. It is so hard to find the money or the time to have a vacation, much less a stress free day or two. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Disney World Legacy Retreat in January of 2011. My wife, my son 10 yrs old and myself were able to enjoy a stress free vacation at Disney World and more importantly we got to see that we were not the only ones with severe problems the other families all had things in common with us. That is so comforting. The trip was a dream, and the vollunteers made us feel like royalty. I don't really have money to donate to this organization, however I will tell you that if I did, this is where my money would be going. We are so grateful to Inheritance of Hope. They are for real, and deserve your support.
No words could ever express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Inheritance of Hope organization. I was diagnosed at age 39 with stage 4 cancer. Five months later, my family and I were blessed to go on the New York retreat. IOH thought of everything from a map to the hospital to a date night with my husband. They were extremely organized and our days were well balanced between group discussions and fun activities. I was amazed by the character that the volunteers exhibited. The retreat provided my family an opportunity to discuss our feelings with other families who could understand what we were going through. My children were begging to go back to their group sessions with the counselors! All of the volunteers were phenominal! IOH has helped our entire family through our journey. I will be forever grateful for this organization and for the friendships that were cultivated during our retreat. I would highly recommend this organization to anyone. They changed my outlook and journey. For that, I will be forever grateful.
FANTASTIC organization. My family and I were received a very special gift of a Legacy Retreat to NYC. IOH thought of everything including making a trip to the pharmacy. I have stage IV cancer and this trip allowed for my children (girl age 10, boy age 7) to visit and get to know other kids who are struggling with illness. The love and concern shown to them was overwhelming. Our Legacy trip changed the lives of our family and we only grew closer.
Inheritance of Hope gave my family such an incredible experience and gift. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer but fortunately, I was picked to attend the NYC retreat. My family and I (boys ages 7 and 8) got to bond with other families where a parent has cancer and learn different coping techniques. My husband and I also were able to talk about things that we were 'scared to bring' up in a safe and nourishing environment. The sites we visited were bar none! This is an outstanding organization with the best staff and volunteers. They have truly become a part of my family!
Inheritance of Hope is one of the most amazing organizations I have ever encountered. The legacy retreats offered to families with a sick parent are very well thought through, every details is taken care of and families are able to create memories and meet other families in similar circumstances. I have worked as a volunteer during a retreat and have also participated in Team Inheritance of Hope to help raise funds to support the costs of holding retreats. Runners are supported very well, with Team IOH, through the process of fund raising and with training and race details. The Inheritance of Hope website is a great resource for information about running and also to connect with some of the stories of families who have participated in retreat weekends.