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Unfinished Business: The Lewis Family Cancer Fund won’t rest until a cure is found

Geoff Lewis was 31 years old, engaged, and a new business owner when he was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in 2007.  For eight years, he “fought like hell,” according to his younger brother Josh. A hard-worker and optimist until the very end, Geoff passed away in March 2015.  He left behind his wife Sandy, six-year-old daughter Landyn, and their nephew Wayne, whom the couple was raising.

 

Geoff (center), Josh, and their Dad in NYC
Geoff (center), Josh, and their Dad in NYC

 

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3 Simple Ways to Make People Feel Loved

There’s something irreplaceable about intentionality, no matter how small the gesture. I, for one, would prefer a thoughtful, handwritten note over a lavish gift of my own choosing. However, it can be very difficult to find the time and energy to go out of your way emotionally. But, because I believe in the value of intentionality, I’ve found a few fun things to do that make it feel like less of an endeavor and more of a creative activity. The list is quite standard, but I have added a personal twist to make it a little more fun. As a huge bonus, the recipient of your gift will recognize the extra effort put into their gift, and feel all the more loved as a result! 

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Inheritance of Hope Family Feels Southwest’s “Luv.”

In December, our family was accepted for an all-expenses paid vacation courtesy of Inheritance of Hope (IoH). IoH provides Legacy Retreats for families with children age 18 and younger in which a parent has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The four-day trip is full of fun, and intentional activities are planned to help families like ours with all we are facing.

 

The Mosier family arrives in Orlando for their Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat.
The Mosier family arrives in Orlando for their Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat.

 

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Inspiring Hope in Northern Colorado: Former retreat participant becomes local Legacy Ambassador

In February 2014, Carol Lacert accompanied her daughter Marci Guay and granddaughter Hannah Guay to an Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ in Orlando. At the time, Marci, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, was enjoying good health, but like many of our families, they were uncertain--not just about the retreat, but about the future that lay beyond. In particular, Hannah, then 13, had fears she could not easily express.

 

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Hannah Black Inspires Hope through her Art

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Hannah Black’s smile says it all.

 

Hannah with her beautiful art.
Hannah with her beautiful art.


Hannah recently sold her artwork and donated all proceeds to Inheritance of Hope in memory of her mother Laura. Hannah knows all too well the challenges IoH families face, as she lost her own mother to glioblastoma in April 2016.

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Paying it Forward at Dance For Hope

The O’Gorman family attended our NYC Legacy Retreat® in November 2016. Merritt, who loves dance and was 10 years old at the time, told local news that her favorite part was watching the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the Rockettes.

 

The O'Gorman Family in Times Square
The O'Gorman Family in Times Square

 

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Hope for the Caregiver

Hope. It was the one thing I searched for during my journey as a caregiver. My husband, Steve, had a rare, progressive, debilitating neurological disease that would eventually destroy his autonomic system and also required 24-hour care. Every time I came to that point where I thought I couldn’t go on, I still had hope. Each day that I had no energy left, no patience, no desire, and no strength to go on even one more hour I searched for the hope that I could go on. Yes, I said all of those words out loud -  no patience, no strength, no energy.  


As a caregiver, I had only whispered those words to myself. I would mumble under my breath sometimes about how hard it was to keep doing it. I was too ashamed to admit to anyone how I was really feeling. No one tells you that loving someone can coexist in your heart with not wanting to be their full-time caregiver at the same time.

 

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Grace and Gratitude

Chad Falk attended the October 2016 Orlando Legacy Retreat® with his wife and three children.  He shared his story at Calvary Evangelical Free Church in Rochester, MN, on November 12.  This is a partial transcript of Chad’s remarks.

 

I was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015, in September, so just over two years ago.  I work at Mayo Clinic; that’s been a big blessing in my life.  I’ve been there since about 2001, so about fifteen years or so.  I’m just proud to be part of that organization and caring for patients.  It’s been neat with my cancer, how I’ve been able to reach out to people that I work with.  It’s interesting how, when I open up, they typically open up themselves and talk a little bit more about what’s going on in their life.  We can kind of encourage each other and hear each other’s stories.

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Leaving Your Legacy Through Tech

(image: Pixabay)
(image: Pixabay)

 

It’s been said that the saddest thing about death is not the actual end of life itself, but leaving your loved ones behind and creating the reality of not being able to spend time with you anymore. Needless to say, death is always hard to accept, even if we’re all aware that it is a natural occurrence. The only thing you could do to ensure that your loved ones' grief and pain would be somehow appeased after you’re gone is to prepare something that would remind them of you fondly – your legacy, so to speak.

 

In today’s society, technology has become intertwined in people’s lives, so much so that it’s now also considered an instrument for dealing with instances such as death. The manner for leaving your legacy and final wishes is not just through paper these days but also via digital tools.

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Content at Christmas - January 2017

“What if this is our last Christmas together?”  If someone in your family has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, this stomach-dropping, breath-stealing question has likely crossed your mind.  I remember the first time it struck me.

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