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)|
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
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.
Hathaway, David and Joanne. "About Melinda's Illness." [Online] Available http://www.monkey-boy.com/melinda/mel_illness.htm.