Kathleen Edward, the 9-year-old Michigan girl who made national headlines since 2010 because a neighbor taunted her fatal disease, has made national headlines once again--this time for an even sadder reason.
Kathleen died Wednesday at her Wyandotte, Mich. home after losing her battle with Juvenile Huntington's disease, according to reports, being surrounded by more than 20 friends and family members beside her bed. Juvenile Huntington's disease, which affects less than one in 100,000 individuals, is a genetic, incurable neurologic disorder that leads to many movement, psychological and behavioral problems. Kathleen died from it less than three years after her mother, Laura Edward, died from adult-onset Huntington's disease, which doesn't come with as many symptoms as Kathleen's.
Ever since the nation learned that Kathleen and parents' neighbor 33-year-old Jennifer Petkov taunted the girl on Facebook with morbid pictures, including one of the Grim Reaper holding her and her mother, many have poured out their emotions and heartfelt condolences to the Kathleen and her family. A Facebook page Prayers for the Healing of Kathleen Edward was created soon after word got out but has remained devoid of posts since Oct. 10, 2011. A Web site dedicated to Kathleen, weloveyoukathleen.com, was also started.
Nevertheless, once people learned of Kathleen's death on Wednesday, Twitter became the primary platform to express emotion and condolences. Reactions were mixed to the say the least, but one aspect resonated throughout all: everyone who tweeted about the subject was on Kathleen's side. Among the most emotional tweets from the past 24 hours were:
An innocent girl who had to deal with one of the worst neighbors imaginable.
God Bless Kathleen Edward and her family today....And The Award For 2010's Worst Piece Of Downriver Trash Goes To...
What a smile. RIP Kathleen Edward
What kind of a-holes bully a dying girl? (who btw passed away)
RIP Kathleen Edward, heaven has a new little angel.
RIP Kathleen Edward, went too early, but God has His reasons.
thanks to Yahoo I now know of Kathleen Edward & the sick bastards that taunted an ill child. she died at age 9. i hope they both go to hell.
Sad to hear of the passing of Kathleen Edward. She was an inspiration & made the world a better place in 9 short years
Some people should just be killed. That is all
RIP Kathleen Edward. In the arms of angels, you will never again experience the hate of evil or the pain of illness.
The world remembers her smile and will never forget it, said Kathleen's father, Robert Edward, to The Detroit News on Thursday. She would do anything for anybody. She never complained - never.
In addition to Kathleen's father and stepmother, The Detroit Free Press reports that Kathleen is survived by two younger sisters -- Ashley and Maddison.
Kathleen's funeral will take place at noon on Saturday at the Michigan Memorial Funeral Home in Flat Rock, and she will be buried at Mount Hope Memorial Garden in Livonia next to her mother.
Donations are being accepted at the Michigan Memorial Funeral Home at (734) 783-2646. The Michigan chapter of the Huntington's Disease Society of America is also accepting donations, (989) 832-4170.
RELATED ARTICLE: Huntington's Disease: Symptoms and Treatments of a Deadly Condition