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There is Always Hope

Writing a message of hope and healing

“I’m sorry. There is no hope,” the doctor ended his words with an emphatic sigh. I was only nineteen when I heard the four words that, looking back, have shaped my entire life afterward. The words reverberated in what felt like my hollow being. In that moment, my life force deserted my body. Shocked at first, then sunken into a depressive abyss, and then finally motivated by a profound desire to disprove him, I began my quest to restore my faltering health and overcome medical injury.

I had spent the previous year alternating between classes at Carleton University’s Journalism School and asleep, barely able to move from my bed. The conflict between the two had been increasingly moving in favour of my bedbound state. Indeed, I had been informed by the archaic male professor that if my “handicap prevented me from completing my studies, it would surely prevent me from a profession as a journalist.”

The dean at the school, with whom I had spent numerous afternoons as I sought a solution to what appeared to be the end of my capacity to continue with my journalism studies, finally asked me: “What makes you think you need a journalism degree to write?” She added, “I’ve come to know you over the last few months and, clearly, you are a smart young woman so what makes you think you need the degree to write?”

Over the years that followed, I clawed my way back from the brink of my own demise. And, with each rung I climbed upward on the ladder of health, I committed myself to learning the universal mysteries of healing found within the humble foods and plants that lay upon the earth. And, each time I did, I moved up another rung. Until, finally I had regained enough health to set pen to paper, or more accurately, nimble fingers to keyboard, pitching health article after health article, and then eventually, health book after health book.

In the same way I had clawed my health back from the clutches of the grim reaper, I bushwhacked my way through the jungle of rejection notices to find the scraps of success hidden among them, until I amassed article-after-article and book-upon-book, all of which bore my name. During those years, I kept the mantra: “there is always hope” alive in my mind and pulsating through my soul as an affront to the hopeless message I had heard so many years earlier.  

As irony would have it, during my brief time at journalism school, I had committed much of the classic journalism text, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White to memory. It was many years later that I learned of E. B. White’s commitment to hope in a letter he penned:

“As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.

Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society – things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out. 

Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.”

I agree with White that, no matter the hardships we face, we must hang on to hope. Over the last several months, I tirelessly worked to complete two additional books showcasing the hope that can be found and harnessed in nature and its remedies. At some point along my journey, my personal mantra of hope turned into my message of hope and the motivation for my continued writing about the healing and transformational power of nature. Even after the forests burn, fireweed rears its vibrant purple head, reminding us that hope is found everywhere in nature, and must be nurtured inside our hearts and souls as well.



Food Fix: The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome DiseaseDr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, RNCP, ROHP, is an international best-selling & 23-time published book author, and a celebrity nutritionist. Check out her latest e-book: FOOD FIX: The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease, available now for immediate download. Her work has been featured in Woman's World, First for Women, Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, WebMD,, and Thrive Global. Learn more about her work at    


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