Athena Orchard comes from Leicester, England. She is a cheerful, pretty girl. Doing sports is one of her favorite hobbies, especially boxing. She watches over her 6 sisters and 3 brothers with utmost devotion. Just before Christmas, the 12-year-old discovers a bump on her head. She doesn’t think anything of it - until she collapses in the kitchen. The doctors give her the devastating diagnosis: bone cancer.
A shock for the 12-year-old and her family. During a 7-hour-long operation, doctors remove a tumor from her spinal column. Afterwards she undergoes a grueling regiment of chemo therapy. She loses her hair. Athena, who is normally overflowing with energy, is too weak to leave her bed. “She always remained optimistic and told me not to cry,” tells her mother Caroline. “We knew that the cancer was very aggressive … She fought for as long as she could.” But, shortly after her 13th birthday, she died surrounded by her family.
A couple days after Athena’s death, her father Dean packs up all of her belongings. As he removed her mirror from the wall, he discovered something on the back. It is inscribed from the top to the bottom. The words are a message from his dead daughter. “I couldn’t believe it. It was almost 3,000 words long,” Dean tells. “It totally blew me away. I started reading the words, but I had to stop after awhile, it was simply to much - it broke my heart.”