Dying mom threw her daughter her first and last birthday party

By Samantha Luiz
29 May 2015

Athena Krueger knew she was fighting a losing battle with cancer and didn’t have long to live. But she wasn’t prepared to say goodbye without celebrating her daughter’s first birthday.

Athena Krueger knew she was fighting a losing battle with cancer and didn’t have long to live. But she wasn’t prepared to say goodbye without celebrating her daughter’s first birthday.

Although she was in hospital at the time, the Minnesota mom turned to her family for help in planning a “perfect” Alice in Wonderland-themed tea party. She convinced the reluctant doctors to leave the hospital and return home for the party.

"We knew things weren't real great, and her point was, 'If this is the only one of her birthdays I'm going to see, I want it to be grand,'" says Athena's husband Ben Krueger.

The party was held on 2 May, three days before Amari’s real birthday.

Sadly, Athena died a day after daughter Amari’s birthday on 5 May. Ben told Today that he believes she held on longer to see Amari turn one.

She had apparently found out about her pregnancy and cancer at the same time, starting chemotherapy when she was 32 weeks along.

"I'm hoping that between the pictures of this party and everything, they'll help me teach Amari all about her mom as she grows up," Ben said. "I don't want her to ever forget who she is or where she came from — it's pretty amazing."

Sources: today.com, buzzfeed.com, elitedaily.com

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