Cancer is a heartbreaking, life-stealing disease that affects millions of people worldwide. No matter what, it is a sad day when a person is diagnosed with cancer, but there's nothing more devastating than when that person is a child. This story is about a little girl who was diagnosed with cancer, but instead of allowing it to consume every part of her, she used the illness to leave behind a legacy.
It was just before Christmas in 2013, and just like most children, Athena Orchard, a beautiful 13-year-old girl, was full of holiday spirit in Leicester, England. Amidst the excitement, Athena suddenly collapsed onto the floor.
Athena’s parents brought her to the hospital to try to figure out what it was that caused her to collapse out of nowhere. Unfortunately, they received heartbreaking news from the doctors. Sadly, Athena was diagnosed with a type of bone cancer known as osteosarcoma and she needed to go into surgery immediately.
Despite the devastating news that the doctors had given her, Athena refused to let go of her positive attitude. “She was always positive, even when she was in the hospital she would be looking after me, making sure I ate and telling me not to cry,” explained Athena’s mother, Caroline.
The doctors immediately brought Athena to the operating room, where they spent 7.5 hours removing the tumors that covered the young girl's shoulders, spine, and head. After the surgery, she would have to endure many months of chemotherapy. But soon enough, Athena was back home with her family, ready to put in everything she had to beat the illness threatening to claim her life.
Writing Her Feelings
Like most cancer patients going through chemo, Athena had lost all of her hair and almost all of her strength battling the debilitating effects of the chemotherapy that was given to her after the surgery. To make the time pass, Athena wrote songs, putting all of her emotions into her writing.