Today is the birthday of our founder Kimberly Grady Brock, and that alone makes it a very special day for us here at Pain Resource.
However, we are also celebrating what would have been the 40th birthday of Kim’s identical twin sister, Kristen Grady Milligan, who is the primary inspiration behind Pain Resource Magazine and PainResource.com. Kristen is, in fact, the face on the cover of our premiere issue of Pain Resource Magazine.
After being diagnosed with a rare terminal illness in 2003, Kristen Milligan searched for children’s literature to help her children — Ashlea (then four years old), Luke (two), and Rebecca (seven months). Unable to find anything that met their needs, she decided to write her own book. The result was A Train’s Rust, A Toy Maker’s Love, the story of a train family whose mother begins to rust, prompting questions of the toy maker about what will happen next. Kristen endured her disease for nearly ten years, including six surgeries, twenty-two months of chemotherapy, two rounds of radiation, and two more books, until losing her battle with cancer on October 26th, 2012.
Kristen and her husband, Deric, expanded the concept in May 2007 by founding Inheritance of Hope, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity with the vision that “Every Family Deserves a Legacy.” The organization began selling Kristen’s books, and in August 2008 Inheritance of Hope hosted its first all-expense-paid Legacy Retreat in Lake George, New York.
Inheritance of Hope continues to expand its offerings to young families facing the life-threatening illness of a parent. Today, IOH serves over 50 families per year at legacy retreats held in New York City and in Orlando. To learn more about Kristen’s incredible story and of her vision for Inheritance of Hope in her own words, please take a moment to view this 4-minute video of Kristen, produced at an IOH Legacy Retreat in Orlando in February 2012, just eight months prior to her passing.
And so, we would like to take this moment to wish a Happy Birthday to two incredible women, Kimberly Grady Brock and Kristen Grady Milligan, and to acknowledge them for providing us with the inspiration and the passion for helping countless other people and their families learn to cope with the physical and emotional pain that they may deal with on a daily basis. In the spirit and memory of you, Kristen, all of us at Pain Resource thank you!