Blooms and Blessings
Personal experience is often the greatest motivator, the greatest WHY behind a mission. For Leslie Presson, the experience of going through cancer and finding herself surrounded by love and support as she faced her battle was something that planted a seed in her—both literally and figuratively—for an idea that would, in much the same way, show others just how much they are loved.
After a diagnosis of breast cancer in the fall of 2019, Presson began a treatment course of 15 rounds of chemo that lasted nearly a year, knowing that, the more support and prayers she had, the better. Sharing her diagnosis with friends and family, Presson received a deluge of cards and gifts, as well as encouraging phone calls and text messages. But it was the flowers that would most impact her, later becoming the impetus for her outreach organization, HOPE Blooms.
“There was never a day that I did not have fresh flowers on my kitchen island that were a gift of encouragement from someone!” Presson recalls. “Some were fresh flowers that a friend had cut from her yard, others were flowers that were picked up at the grocery store, and others were sent by family and friends and delivered by the wonderful local florists in Fairhope. There were several times when we just found flowers left at our front door! I can’t begin to describe the joy that these flowers—these gestures of encouragement—gave to me. I don’t think I ever really took these kind acts for granted, but I did start looking forward to getting them! They brought hope. Hope was something I needed to cling to. Each time I looked at the flowers, I was reminded that I was—and am—loved. Someone was thinking about me. I was not alone on this journey.”