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We are back from an amazing trip to Florida.  As you know, this trip was possible because of Inheritance of Hope (IOH).  They’re a non profit organization founded by Kristen and Deric Milligan.  Kristen is terminally ill.

To be honest, we went into this trip a little skeptical and not knowing what to expect.  We knew they had a tight schedule for our family of five, but we were going to try our best to work with it.  We were excited to go to Disney World and see all the characters and ride the rides, but this trip turned out to be so much more.

We were there with 12 other families (four pulled out at the last minute) from all over the country.  One of the parents from each family suffered from a terminal illness.  IOH is so warm, caring and incredibly detailed we could tell from the moment the volunteers picked us up at the airport hotel that this was going to be a great trip.

When we walked into our hotel room we had a bag of goodies from IOH and T-Shirts.  Then we noticed a BIG pile of mail.  We were so surprised and touched by the letters and cards you sent us.  Thank you Jill and Papa Dale for contacting so many people to do that.  We had over 60 cards and letters.

The first night we had a welcoming dinner where all the families ate in a banquet room.  Dinner was delicious.  At the end of dinner they had announcements and then said there was one more guest that was coming.  In walked Mickey Mouse!  The kids were so excited.  They were calling the families up to meet him in alphabetical order.  Being the Dutchies that we are, we were last.  Max ran up to Mickey and gave him a HUGE hug.  We had many pictures taken with Mickey.  We couldn’t believe it.  

The next morning the kids went to playgroup and the parents went to parent groups where we met everyone.  When we met up with the kids again, Brooklyn said to me “Mom!  I met some kids who have sick parents too.”  That was her “ah ha” moment.  Then we ate lunch, matched up with the best volunteers in the world and went to the Magic Kingdom.

We had two volunteers for the weekend.  They were Angie from Atlanta, GA and Mike (Golden Boy) from Mississippi who lives in NYC.  Let me say all the volunteers and staff for IOH have the light of Jesus shining in them.  They are amazing.  Angie and Mike pushed me in a wheelchair, carried water in their backpacks, took pictures, got us a medical pass so we could walk up to any ride or character and be next in line, helped with the kids anytime and anywhere.  We were incredibly blessed on this trip.  The kids even got to be part of the Lion King show!  

The day we left we had closing ceremonies and on the agenda, there was my verse – Jeremiah 25:11.  Kristen and Deric were there and had explained how they are usually on all the retreats, but couldn’t make it to this entire retreat.  After a very moving message from Kristen, she said when they get home it was time for her to contact Hospice.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

When we left, Brooklyn was full of tears because she was going to miss Angie and Michael so much.  She has already emailed Angie and wrote Mike a letter.  She also declared she’s going someday as a volunteer. 

This trip was way more than Disney.  I learned so much and will be forever blessed by the IOH volunteers and staff. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, cards, letters and love.

On Saturday I’m going to U of M for an MRI of my brain and CT scans of my chest (lungs) and pelvis.  Please pray that they go well for me.  I tend to get sick after the CT scan. 

Next Tuesday (Valentine’s Day) we go back to U of M for the results and decide what chemo to try next.

Thank you for the kindness and love you’ve shown our family.  If you run in marathons and want to run for a non profit, join the IOH marathon team.   

7 Responses to “Amazing”

  1. Barb Dannenberg says:

    Thinking of you and praying for you often! So glad you could create those wonderful memories and develop new relationships on your Disney Trip. Will pray specifically for the tests you’ll have and the decisions you’ll be making next week!

  2. Megan Van Kampen says:

    WOW! What an amazing trip! What a great memory of all of you. 🙂 I couldn’t wait to hear how it went. Love all the pictures too!! I’m praying for good test results and for peace and direction in treatment. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily!!!

  3. Jana Ver Beek says:

    Praying for safe travels for you tomorrow to the UofM. Praying you won’t get sick from the dye they’ll put in you for the CAT scan and also praying you feel God’s peace washing over you.
    I’m so happy that the IOH trip was so special. That’s a definite answer to prayer. Thank you God!!

  4. Becca Wyngarden says:

    Sounds like a great trip and a great organization. Hope that you’re feeling well.:)

  5. Michelle says:

    What a blessing!!

    And seriously, that pic of your boy eating the ice cream cone is classic! ;0)


  6. Sarah Rozema says:

    Dusty and Lindy,

    What an amazing trip this organization blessed you with! I couldn’t help but smile as I read your post and admired the pictures. Thanks for the post. Many prayers for you in this upcoming week, dear friends!

    Sarah Rozema

  7. Shana Anglin says:

    So glad you guys had a great trip to Disney. The pics are great. Especially the one of Max eating the icecream. Glad to hear Chemo is not needed at the moment. A small break for you. Still thinking of you and will continue to pray for you.

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