Athena Krueger (pictured) is fighting a difficult battle with breast cancer, but that wasn’t enough to stop the 33 year-old from trying her hardest to forge a lasting memory with her newly born daughter.
According to Athena’s husband, Ben, his wife discovered a lump in her breast at the same time she found out she was pregnant.
Athena began chemotherapy while 15 weeks pregnant, successfully giving birth to baby Amari by means of cesarean at 32 weeks. Athena would continue to undergo further chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries to fight off the cancer, but it was unsuccessful.
The cancer spread to her lungs, lymph nodes, and brain.
Athena has an image as the header of her blog that reads:
“December 27th, 2014. I’m pregnant with our first child. We are absolutely thrilled. Everything went as planned. With us there’s always a plan. We got pregnant after trying for less than a month! I’ve been anticipating a call. The call comes in. I have cancer stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma with a grade 3 tumor (whatever that means). This is not how our plan goes. Life changes. We change. Our plans change. This is what happens.”
Athena was fighting for her life in the hospital just weeks before her daughter had her first birthday.
That’s when the Krueger family decided they were going to throw a big birthday bash for Amari’s very first birthday, and her Mom was going to be a big part of it. Athena’s doctors advised against her leaving the hospital, suggesting that they throw the party in a multi-purpose room inside of the hospital.
Here’s what Ben had to say about that: “We said, ‘Absolutely not. This is a big deal and we’re going to be home,'” said Ben. “They strongly disagreed, but I told them this was the way it was going to be — that they could either help me, or I would sign the forms to take Athena home without their help.”
The theme of the party was Alice in Wonderland. There was a dress up area, a tea party, and many elaborate scenes from the movie replicated under tents. Ben had joked earlier in the week that he would even dress up as the Mad Hatter – that off-the-cuff remark quickly turned into reality.
The party was a huge success with an attendance of approximately 300 guests partaking in the fun. Ben claimed his family loved the event.
Athena died the day after her daughter’s birthday, at home, in her husband’s arms. What she did for her daughter is incredible and will no doubt inspire anyone who reads this touching story.
And now I’m out of tissues.