Just over a year ago, Fox Detroit ran a story about a young girl with Huntington’s disease, Kathleen Edward, being harrassed by a neighbor on Facebook. The social media site Reddit picked up the story and soon donations and support poured in for Kathleen.
Less than a year later, Kathleen succumbed to her disease, dying on Wednesday at the age of 9, Fox Detroit reported.
Kathleen, who suffered from the degenerative brain disorder Huntington’s disease, and her family lived across the street from a neighbor who harrassed them for two years. The neighbor displayed skeletons and gravestones in her yard and posted images of Kathleen with a skull and crossbones on to Facebook.
The story went viral on Reddit, where people railed against Petkov’s behavior and raised money for Kathleen. A local toy shop owner offered the girl a shopping spree and Reddit users raised over $19,500 to help pay for it.
Huntington’s disease has no known cure or effective treatment. With the publicity around Kathleen’s illness, a Web site launched, called Kathleen’s Crusaders, and her grandmother told Fox Detroit how blessed the family felt because of how much awareness was raised about the disease. (See more info on it here.)
The owner of the toy shop posted on Reddit Wednesday that Kathleen succumbed to an infection after falling and hitting her head against a door. “She always had smiles for everyone,” he wrote.
Watch one of the original Fox Detroit videos: