In the past couple of years I have found myself thinking about the word HOPE quite a bit. It’s a word that people throw around without much meaning most of the time.  Hope by definition, is to feel that something desired may happen or a thing in which expectations are centered. But what does hope mean to me?

I’ve asked myself exactly that. What does HOPE means to me and what do I want it to mean to my family and friends? Hope to me is more than just hoping that my team wins or hoping for a new pair of boots (although I would LOVE both!). For me hope is more than a word, it’s a way of living.

There is nothing like having hope as a part of your life. It makes me grateful for all I’ve experienced and all the experiences I will have in the future. Hope makes me look towards the positive even when it’s hard to find a good spin on a certain conversation or topic. Hope makes me believe that I will see a cure for all cancers in my lifetime.

For my family, I want hope to signify a new lease on life. I am very fortunate to have a very supportive family and a great group of friends. I want them to incorporate hope in their lives any way they wish too. For my brand new nephew Noah, I hope that one day he will not have to worry about our family’s cancer genes.

Since I started working at UCF, hope has taken on another meaning. HOPE is now an attitude of how to face a cancer diagnosis head on and not letting those words “You have cancer” completely control your life. I have met many amazing people who have done just that. They are hopeful for their future and that attitude has rubbed off on me.

Here is my challenge to you, the next time you find yourself facing a crummy situation, try to find the positive twist to it. I know it sounds corny, but I truly believe that positivity goes a long way.

About Ashley Portrey

Volunteer Coordinator, AmeriCorps member, tennis player, Thanatologist, volunteer, and bargain shopper. Loves anything green, red skittles, tennis, and traveling.
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