Living with a terminal illness can be an isolating experience especially when you have young children. According to the Highmark Caring Foundation, one in every 20 children age 15 or younger will suffer the loss of one or both parents. Children of ailing parents may feel isolated or have trouble expressing their emotions, while parents may fear their legacy will be lost.
Inheritance of Hope is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity helping young families cope with the loss of a parent. This organization was established by the Milligan family. Kristen Milligan and her husband, Deric, had three young children when Kristen was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Kristen’s goal was to leave a legacy for her children while helping other families in the same situation.
Leaving a Legacy
Inheritance of Hope believes in making memories. Betsy Ogren, Legacy Retreat coordinator says, “We host retreats for families with life-threatening illnesses and children under the age of 18. These all-expenses paid retreats are held throughout the year in popular destinations like Orlando and New York City.”
Ogren says, “At Legacy Retreats, each family member participates in group sessions with their peers. We recognize that each family member is uniquely touched by a parent’s diagnosis. Children’s sessions focus on expressing and managing feelings, while adult sessions include intentional legacy building activities such as creating videos to leave for their families.”
The Nut House Challenge (NHC) is a race created by Triton Events, a Rochester-based company that manages 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and triathlons. Last year, Cathy Sell, the race coordinator, came up with the name of the race and designed the NHC logo, as well as Nibbles, the NHC mascot engraved on each medal. Jason Fischer, owner of Triton Events says, “We wanted something that was unique, so we came up with the NHC idea. The only other race like this is the one at Walt Disney World.”
The NHC offers individual 5k, 10k and half marathon races, along with “Half Cracked” and “Totally Nuts” races along the scenic Rochester trail system. “Half Cracked” includes a 5k on Friday, July 8 and a 10k on Saturday, July 9. If you’re feeling “Totally Nuts,” you can run the 5k on Friday, the 10k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. “The NHC kids’ race is new this year,” says Fischer. Children can run one mile on Friday, Saturday or Sunday or on all three days. Anyone can sign up to participate in the NHC. There are no time limits, so you can run or walk at your own pace. The races start and finish at Soldiers Field Park.
More Nutty Activities
Load up on carbs at the pasta dinner at Soldiers Field Saturday night. The dinner is $12 per person and free for children 5 and under. Fischer says, “At 5 p.m., Omar’s Kitchen from Kasson is providing the pasta dinner and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Inheritance of Hope.”
“This year’s Presenting Sponsor is Thatcher Pools & Spas. They were also a sponsor last year and brought a pool where runners could cool off after each run,” says Fischer. There is also an inflatable bounce house for the kids to enjoy provided by Rochester Inflatables. Grand Rounds Brew Pub is also supporting the event. “Last year they came to every race and provided one free beer to each finisher. Every day was a different flavor,” says Fischer.
Come join the fun July 8-10. Use the discount code RWIOH for 10 percent off your registration, inheritanceofhope.org/nuthouse.
Nicole L. Czarnomski is a freelance writer.