Bullied Girl with Huntington's Disease Gets Toy Spree

Kathleen Edward
Kathleen Edward Gets Toy Spree

My Strollerderby colleague Carolyn Castiglia recently wrote about Kathleen Edward, a 7-year-old girl who is suffering from Huntington’s Disease. As if suffering from the disease wasn’t difficult enough, an adult neighbor, Jennifer Petkov, has been taunting and bullying the girl, whose mother died from the disease last year.

Petkov posted photoshopped images of Kathleen’s late mother in the arms of the grim reaper to Kathleen’s Facebook page, along with an image of Kathleen with her face superimposed over a skull and crossbones. Sick stuff. But there’s some good news…

Pretty much every one who has heard this tale has the same reaction: how can anyone be so cruel to a little girl, especially one who is seriously ill and has already lost her mother?

But not everybody is so callous. A group of people from around the world felt so badly for Kathleen that they donated $17,500 so that Kathleen could have a fantasy day out at a toy store, according to Famecrawler.

The Detroit Free Press reports that “a white limousine picked Kathleen Edward up Thursday and drove her to a toy store in Ann Arbor with police as her escort. When the girl got there, she walked on a red carpet, red rose petals were tossed at her and the crowd cheered. Kathleen was told to pick out anything she wanted from the store, and she did, shopping for about two hours.”

Apparently, the owner of the toy store, Hans Masing, was bullied as a child and felt awful about what Kathleen was going through. Masing started the fundraiser after reading about her situation.

The store — along with people from around the world — managed to raise  $17,500. Whatever money is leftover from Kathleen’s shopping spree will be used to buy toys for kids at the Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, kids in hospice, and other kids in the area with Huntington’s disease.

“Let’s benefit some other kids, too. She’s not the only one suffering,” Kathleen’s father, Robert Edward said.

Don’t you love a story with a happy ending?

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Article Posted 6 years Ago

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