Above all things, I believe in optimism. I have had many days when I thought my world would forever be in shadow, yet the sun was always hovering just beyond the horizon. For instance, when I was eight and my mom died of cancer, I thought my world was at its end. I had no idea how I could function, grow up, or ever smile again without my mom. It is like having a stroke; one has to learn how to do the little things all over again. After losing my mom, I had to learn how to laugh, think about my future, and make a joke as if I was doing it for the first time. As I slowly began to function again after her death, I became optimistic about life once more. I found that in any situation the cup is always half full. For example, I still had my friends, my dad, and my younger siblings. If anything, my mom’s sickness brought out the best in all of us. Our friends and neighbors showed more love to my family than I had ever thought possible. It was through them and the countless meals and hugs that they brought over that God took care of us. I also saw a whole new side of my family. My dad became easier to talk to, and my siblings and I grew closer than ever before. As a person, I grew much more empathetic to other’s pain; I could truly relate to them because I knew exactly what loss feels like. Although I was only eight, I gained a whole new direction in my life. I really wanted to help people that were going through what I went through. When my friend’s dad died of lung cancer when we were in fifth grade, I was there for her. I have also worked hard to fight back against cancer by leading Relay for Life teams, aiding in prostate cancer research at Ferris State University, and by choosing to major in premedicine because I have optimism that with enough research we will find a cure to cancer. I believe in optimism; even without my mom here, the show and the fight against cancer must go on. Even when there are gray skies overhead, I always remember what Annie always says, “When you’re stuck with a day that’s gray and lonely; You just stick out your chin and grin and say; The sun will come out tomorrow.”
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