Tragic schoolgirl who died from cancer aged 12 pens heartbreaking secret message to her family on the back of bedroom mirror

A 12-year-old girl who died following a battle with cancer left a heartbreaking secret message for her family hidden on the back of her bedroom mirror.
 
Athena Orchard, died last Wednesday (May 28) after losing her fight with the terminal disease.
 
Just days after her death, Athena's dad Dean was stunned to discover a giant heartfelt note written in marker pen on the back of his daughter's mirror.
 
The message was written after Athena was diagnosed with cancer - which she discovered after finding a tiny lump on her head in December last year.
 
Before she died, she penned the lengthy message which remained undiscovered until days after her death.

In her note Athena talks about the disease which would later take her life, She wrote: '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.'
 
Last Christmas, Athena collapsed at home and the family began to fear there was something seriously wrong with her health.
 
She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and, in the following months, underwent intense chemotherapy to treat the cancer in her spine, her left shoulder and her head.
 
She had to have a seven-and-a-half-hour operation to remove the tumour on her spine and wore a wig to cover her hair-loss.
 
Despite these traumas, Athena's note showed an unshakably positive outlook on life.
 
She wrote: 'Happiness depends upon ourselves.
 
'Maybe it’s not about the happy ending, maybe it’s about the story.
 
'The purpose of life is a life of purpose.'
 
Her dad Dean, 33, said: 'It was a stand-up mirror in her room, and it was always lent up against the wall so we never saw behind it.
 
'She never mentioned it, but it's the kind of thing she'd do.
 
'She was a very spiritual person, she'd go on about stuff that I could never understand - she was so clever.
 
'When I moved the mirror after she died I couldn't believe it, I saw all this writing, it must have been about 3,000 words.
 
'It's so touching. When I first saw it, it just blew me away.





































Heartfelt: Athena's family with the poignant mirror message. (Caters)
Lengthy: Athena's mirror message in full. (Caters)

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'I started reading it but before long I had to stop because it was too much, it was heartbreaking.'
 
Athena, who leaves behind six sisters and three brothers, wrote: 'I’m waiting to fall in love with someone I can open my heart to.

'Love is not about who you can see spending your future with it’s about who you can’t see spending your life without.
 
'Life is a game for everyone but love is the only prize.'








Gone too soon: Tragic schoolgirl Athena. (Caters)

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Athena's mum Caroline, 37, said: 'We knew that Athena loved to write, that was part of who she was, it made her happy.
 
'When we read the message it blew us away, Dean started to try and read it but then he just broke out in tears - when it got to the part about her illness, he couldn't finish.
 
'She was an incredible girl, so bright and so strong, she continually amazed me.
'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.
 
'We knew the cancer was very aggressive, the doctors had never seen anything like it.
 
'She fought it as long as she could but eventually she became too weak to get out of bed.
 
'She was so beautiful and athletic, she loved boxing, it was horrible to watch her become gradually weaker.
 
'We're keeping the mirror forever, it is a part of her we can keep in the house, it will always be in her room.
 
'Just reading her words felt like she was still here with us, she had such an incredible spirit.
 
'We found a box of songs she wrote, we didn't know she wrote songs, the words must have been important to her or she wouldn't have kept them.'

EXCERPTS FROM ATHENA'S SECRET MESSAGE:
 
'Happiness depends upon ourselves.
'Maybe it’s not about the happy ending, maybe it’s about the story.
'The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
'The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. Happiness is a direction not a destination.
'Thank you for existing. Be happy, be free, believe, forever young.
'You know my name, not my story.
'You have heard what I’ve done, but not what I’ve been through.
'Love is like glass, looks so lovely, but it’s easy to shatter.
'Love is rare, life is strange, nothing lasts and people change.
'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.
'If someone loves you then they wouldn’t let you slip away no matter how hard the situation is.
'Remember that life is full of ups and downs, without the downs the ups don’t mean anything.
'I’m waiting to fall in love with someone I can open my heart to.
'Love is not about who you can see spending your future with it’s about who you can’t see spending your life without.
'Life is a game for everyone but love is the only prize.'