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From the very beginning, Amadora Legacy Project has been about family.

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At a young age, our founder, Dr. Amy Hughes, experienced the loss of her beloved Italian grandmother from Alzheimers. Recognizing that her grandmother’s absence also meant the loss of hearing her laughter, learning the secret to her famous spaghetti sauce, listening to her catchphrases, and learning about her upbringing, Amy grew up wishing she had packaged up all those moments that she could never go back to. Fast forward 30 years—as an oncologist deeply connected to the lives of her cancer patients and their loved ones, she knew she had to find a way to help them avoid the one regret she has so often heard: “I wish I had said…”

The answer became Amadora Legacy Project (formerly Love + Legacy).


The name Amadora means “gift of love” in Italian, and Amadora Legacy Project was founded with a mission to help individuals with terminal illnesses capture their life stories as lasting gifts of love.
Combining Amy’s patient care background with the professional executive coaching skills of our co-founder, Mia Ellis, the organization knows how to help adults and children bravely tell their stories, in their own words, so that nothing is left unsaid. Through our “Care Commitment” promise and personalized, professionally crafted legacy videos, we help pass on wishes, and words of wisdom for generations to come.
Amadora Legacy Project envisions a world without “I wish I had said…” regrets. We believe this is the greatest gift we could give to others.

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A world where individuals with life-limiting illnesses are free of ‘I wish I had said” regrets.

Create a lasting gift of love by capturing the life stories of those with life-limiting illnesses.

Service: We choose quality over quantity, focused on delivering consistently high standards of quality and prioritizing the needs of those we serve.

Empathy: Everyone is going through something, so we listen and learn intently, respect different points of view, lead with compassion and treat others as family.

Sense of Urgency: Time is precious, so we make smart decisions, work at a speedy pace and act quickly to make things happen efficiently and effectively.

Collaboration: We think and act as a team, working together to help achieve goals.

Amy Hughes and Mia Ellis portrait

Meet our founders

Founded by an oncologist and an executive coach, Amadora truly understands how to inspire and support individuals who are at their most vulnerable—bravely take on one of their most important life moments—recording their life story to be shared for generations to come.

Amy Hughes • President

Dr. Amy Hughes is an oncologist whose care, compassion, and curiosity about others shines both in and out of the clinical setting.


She began her path to medicine at 16 as a volunteer with hospice. The experience gave her a first-hand view of the immense impact of loss: from the patient’s perspective as they prepared to leave their loved ones behind; from the family and friends’ perspectives as they processed it; and from the space between, where final words were often left unsaid, and final stories left untold.


Amy later attended Albion College, where she earned her degree in psychology with honors, after completing her thesis entitled “The long-term stress of bereavement on physical and psychological functioning.” She attended medical school at Des Moines University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine before completing her internal medicine residency at Iowa Health Systems in Des Moines and a fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. She is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine.


In a full-circle nod to her beginnings as a hospice volunteer, Amy has earned an official certification as a death doula—which further substantiates her skills as an adept and empathetic partner for patients as they shift their goals toward maximizing the time they have left.


Amy is a mom of 3 busy children and an active member of her community. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards and committees, and has spoken at events on a local, regional, and state level about the importance of leaving a legacy.

Mia Ellis • Vice President

Mia Ellis is a professional executive coach with a passion for connecting with people and helping them unlock their potential to become purpose driven leaders.


With her guidance, people from around the world and across all professional sectors have honed new leadership skills, navigated big career changes, and learned to “show up” more fully, both within the workplace, and in their personal lives.


Mia earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Colorado, and completed her Advanced Executive Coaching Certificate through the Hudson Institute in Santa Barbara, California, in 2019. She is a PCC certified coach with the International Coach Federation.


Currently, Mia provides executive coaching through her own business, Amplify Coaching, and is also a consultant for the Executive Education program at Drake University. She has extensive work experience in the nonprofit sector, including as co-founder and former executive director of a Seattle-area nonprofit focused on helping young people find their purpose.


She describes her work as “helping people do hard things,” and her approach is built on a foundation that includes her core values (Connection and Joy), and her deep understanding of the importance of prioritizing one’s own physical health and emotional well-being. As a result, she has a gift for putting people at ease, helping them to open up, and welcoming the resulting thoughts, feelings, and stories that emerge.

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Our Board of Directors

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Amy Hughes
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Kelly Schall
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Brian McCormac
Kristen Buenzow
Vice Chair
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Brant Anderson
Tray Wade
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Jeff Hatlevig
Dayna Boyles Carpenter
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Mia Ellis
Board Member Emeritus

Become a valued partner

Contact us if you are interested in becoming a Legacy Coach or a member of our videographer/photographer network.

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