Melinda Rose Hathaway

by Molly from California

In the February of 1994, a girl who was only 12-years-old was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She was told she had stage IV Askin's Tumor and was given one to two weeks to live. But this didn't discourage her, and she lived on for more than three years with Askin's Tumor. Before she died, though, she, along with her father and brother, created a website for other children with cancer. Through this website she gave hope to kids with similar problems, and that is why Melinda Rose Hathaway is my hero.

Melinda Rose Hathaway (from her website)
Melinda Rose Hathaway (from her website)

Before she was diagnosed, Melinda was a lighthearted 12-year-old girl who lived in Canada with much to look forward to. She was an "A" student, had many friends, and upheld an extensive record, which included being a peer counselor, working with severely challenged children, serving in the Church, training to be a pipe organist, and much more. But when doctors discovered she had cancer, she had to undergo surgery on her shoulder and spine that left her in sheer agony. In a matter of weeks, she received the lifetime limit of exposure to the radiation treatment she was given. Despite the use of countless treatments, her cancer still progressed. And on the 15th of September in 1996, the cancer became too much for Melinda. She died at the tragic age of 15.

While she lived, Melinda comforted other children with cancer through the Internet. She called them "Cancer Kids" and could sometimes help them in ways others couldn't, because she shared some of the same hardships. She provided a place for distraught "Cancer Kids" to turn to when they needed someone who understood them. The website she created, with the help of her father and brother, offered reassurance and hope in a child's life during his or her times of trouble.

What Melinda did can be applied to Job 16:5. It says, "But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief." Melinda's words of encouragement and comfort brought relief to an immeasurable number of kids suffering with cancer. Her words sustained them when they needed someone most. Through her actions, she touched countless lives and gave hope to many.

Even though she lived for a very short time, Melinda Rose Hathaway accomplished her dream. She helped other children with cancer in an unusual way: through a website. The website, dedicated to aiding "Cancer Kids", offered sources for a family experiencing cancer in their child's life. Instead of moping around because of the hand she was dealt, she overcame her diagnosis with others in mind. In her own words, "Life is so much better when you concentrate on the things that you can do and on the things that you do have, instead of sulking and worrying about the things that you can't do or that you can't have."

Page created on 2/17/2013 11:47:12 AM

Last edited 2/17/2013 11:47:12 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

American Cancer Society - Learn how you can make a difference and help fight cancer.


Hathaway, David and Joanne. "About Melinda's Illness." [Online] Available