Keeping legacies alive by giving others a chance

Published 8:33 am Monday, June 6, 2022

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When their daughter passed away in September 2020 at the age of 9, they were heartbroken, but Dustin and Lacretia Riekeberg knew that wasn’t the end of Destiny’s legacy.

They knew she was destined for more.

In a time of tragedy, it was tough for both to move on without their only child, and it’s still difficult to this day, but they found a way to turn anger and heartbreak into something Destiny wanted more than anything—to help others going through the difficult battle she went through.

Over the years, we have seen families torn apart through the tragic losses of their children. It is one of the toughest parts of our job to see parents having to say goodbye to a child.

But each time, the families and communities have responded, making sure their legacies live on and their purpose continues.

Take for example Bradley Johnson, who tragically died in a car accident in high school, or Braxton Weidman, who recently died of rare cancer similar to the battle Destiny was going through, or Parker Boswell, who tragically died in a car accident just after graduating high school.

Johnson was one of the top junior golfers in the country when his tragic accident occurred, and his family made sure his legacy to help others in the sport continued through the Bradley Johnson Memorial.

Not only is there a golf tournament each year for high school teams to participate in, but the foundation raises money to help give scholarships to high school golfers hoping to use the sport they love to attend college.

His passion for golf, that’s something Johnson would have been extremely proud of and it all stems from the person he was on this earth. Now, that legacy continues and his impact will always be felt.

The same can be said for Weidman, who passed away earlier this year due to a rare form of cancer.

Not only has his family continued to raise awareness for childhood cancer, but Weidman himself left such an impact that people will always use him as inspiration.

His story took off across the globe, and it was one that featured several terrifying lows. Weidman, however, never stopped inspiring, and now, he remains with anyone who followed his story.

Similarly, Boswell knew the impact he wanted to have in his life, which allowed him to lay the plans for his own foundation.

Before dying in a tragic car accident, Boswell mapped out how he wanted to help young basketball players have their best chance to succeed in life.

He called it, Pastoral Point Guard.

Because of his vision at such a young age and his impact in nearly 20 years on earth, his family was able to start the foundation, and Boswell will now continue his impact on others.

As for the Riekebergs, they recently found out they were pregnant with a baby boy—something they knew was a sign from Destiny.

And on Wednesday, May 25, the couple was able to donate their first check to Children’s of Alabama in her memory.

They presented $60,000 that was raised through the Destiny StrongER Foundation, which was started behind the promise of helping others fight childhood cancer.

In a time of heartbreak, it’s so much easier to give up and lose a sense of hope, but that defeats the purpose of what was accomplished by each person and the legacy they left on this earth. In the end, finding their true destiny is not done, it’s just beginning.