Contact Us | Location


Gold Ribbon Hero: Athena

Meet Athena, a 19-year-old Hodgkin’s Lymphoma warrior. 

In the spring of Athena’s senior year in high school, she developed a low-grade fever for a week. Thinking nothing of it, her mother took her to the doctor and they did blood work. Doctors noticed that her pulse was a little off, so they sent her for an x-ray. “The first time cancer was mentioned, I was at her high school picking her up. The doctor said she needed another scan,” said Athena’s mother, Tina. 

“They called while I was in the school office and they suspected Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I immediately fell to the floor. My brain couldn’t process what they were telling me.” 

At that moment, everything changed. 



Athena’s initial diagnosis was stage 2B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “Everyone said, it was the ‘best’ cancer you could get if you were going to get cancer. Let me just say, that is a terrible thing to say.” Treatment started immediately and consisted of four rounds of chemotherapy. Athena underwent weeks in the hospital, the loss of her hair, multiple scans and long hours in the clinic. At that point, Athena was in remission. In November of 2023, she went in for a follow up x-ray where doctors saw something on her lung. Three more scans followed and doctors suspected a relapse had occurred.

“We had barely had a chance to breathe before this “best” cancer was back. Now it is considered very aggressive.” Since the cancer relapse, Athena will need fertility treatments, immunotherapy, a stem cell transplant and 30 days of consecutive radiation. “What was supposed to be a quick few months of treatment is now at least two years with the possibility of radiation causing other cancers or it [the treatment] not even working to begin with.” 

Athena is actively undergoing treatment for her relapse and has taken part in ACCO’s 18Loop VR study. She uses VR and gaming to help during difficult treatments. She is also an incredibly talented artist and gets pleasure from the simplest things like finding a rock or getting a new stuffed animal. 

Please help ACCO send well wishes to Athena and her family during this time. 

Learn more about Hodgkin’s Lymphoma by clicking here.

Together, we can make a difference. Donate today, because kids can’t fight cancer alone!®

Comments are closed.