“She never mentioned it, but it’s the kind of thing she’d do,” Athena’s father, 33-year-old Dean Orchard, said. “I started reading it, but before long I had to stop because it was too much. It was heartbreaking.”
Her parents found the message on the back of a mirror as they went through her belongings a few days after she died on May 28.
Athena's message included passages such as:
“Every day is special, so make the most of it.”
“You could get a life-ending illness tomorrow, so make the most of every day.”
“Life is only bad if you make it bad.”
Athena found a small lump on her head in December last year and was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
After she collapsed at her home during the Christmas holiday, doctors discovered the cancer in her spine, left shoulder and head.
Athena underwent a seven-and-a-half hour surgery and went through chemotherapy, but lost her battle with cancer on May 28.
Her family said she was always positive, even when she was too sick to get out of bed.