Kathleen Edward, the little girl being bullied by adults in Trenton, will be in Ann Arbor on Thursday – please be nice to her

By now, everyone’s seen the heart-breakingly sad news story about the terminally-ill seven year old girl in Trenton, Michigan whose neighbors have been harassing her – posting photos of her face floating like a skull above crossbones online, and parking a truck hauling a coffin in front of her home. It’s truly sickening stuff, and I wasn’t going to mention it here. But, I just saw on Reddit that the online community is coming together to support her, and that she’ll be in Ann Arbor on Thursday, shopping for toys, thanks to all the donations, and I wanted to post something, just in case you might happen to see her while you’re going about your business. If you do, be sure to say hello and give her a smile. I cannot even begin to imagine what she must be going through at this moment. Not only is she facing certain death, but she’s doing it without her mother, who also fell victim to Huntington’s Disease. And, she’s having to deal with these psychotic neighbors on top of it. (They’ve also posted images of her mother in the arms of the Grim Reaper on Facebook.) It would be incredible if someone could move her family far away from these people, where she could live out the rest of her life in peace. But, short of that, I think it would be great, if only for a day, everyone she came in contact with was kind to her.

Here’s the background:

And here’s a photo of a happy Kathleen taken today by Hans Masing, the owner of Ann Arbor’s Tree Town Toys, who has been coordinating a great deal this overwhelming response… In addition to raising close to $10,000 so far, a number of local Ann Arbor folks have come forward to offer their services. Following, on that subject, is a clip from the most recent Reddit update by Masing:

The photo set was taken today when we went to visit her family. What a tremendous group of people – genuine, sweet, loving, and such nice people. We brought a few gifts for the kids, but the BIG EVENT is on Thursday! Kathleen is coming to Ann Arbor (about an hour away from her house) by luxury limo – donated by Perfection Limousine, shopping ’til she drops at our toy store to get anything she wants, no limits. Then we are taking her over to the children’s hospital where she will be donating hundreds of toys to sick kids there in her name, and to lunch at Carson’s American Bistro Turns out Kathleen likes steak and watermelon, so that’s what she is going to get.

Fox 2 will be coming along for the trip, and photos will be taken by everyone who can. Any nearby redditors are encourage to be at our store at 9:30 to cheer and applaud and welcome Kathleen and her family. Bring signs of encouragement, posters, banners, throw rose petals, whatever it takes to make her a princess! All in good tase, of course…

It makes me incredibly happy to see something as terrible as this initial news story taking on a life of its own online and becoming a truly wonderful thing. Yesterday, when I first heard about Kathleen’s ordeal, I was incredibly depressed. It’s like everything that was wrong with America was distilled down to this one neighborhood, and the heartless cruelty being perpetrated by this family. But, somehow, the good people of the internet came through and restored, at least temporarily, my faith in mankind… Today, I’m happy to say, the internet has fulfilled its promise.

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31 Comments

  1. Posted October 11, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    You can donate to the Huntington’s Disease Society of American in Kathleen’s name here.

  2. Posted October 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    You can also donate on the Tree Town Toys site, linked to above.

  3. Knox
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I’d like to join you, but I can’t help but by cynical. I find myself thinking about how the toy store will benefit from the exposure. I hate myself for thinking like this, but I can’t help it. I blame society. It’s robbed me of any ability to see good in the world.

  4. Edward
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    It’s cool to see that second video, of the man who did the taunting, clearly terrified by the power of the shit storm he and his wife kicked up. Word on the web is that he’s been suspended from his job. It looks as though, while the people of Reddit were doing good, the people of 4Chan were taking care of the righteous vengeance part. I love it how things come together when everyone plays their part, and the assholes and do gooders join forces for the common good.

  5. Mr. X
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Good always wins in the end.

  6. Atkinson
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    UPDATE:

    ……Even Petkov has apparently realized her actions are reprehensible, apologizing to the family.

    “What I did was ignorant and wrong and I would walk right across this street now and apologize, if it weren’t for the PPO (personal protection order issued against her earlier by a court),” Petkov said. “I’m not proud of myself because this went from a neighborhood dispute to a huge thing.”

    Petkov’s husband Scott said that his wife’s “brutal honesty” has caused his family to “not get along with a lot of people.” It also could cost him his job — Scott Petkov was suspended with pay from his job as a forklift repairman over all of this, and could be fired.

    “My husband is a good person and I hope he doesn’t lose his job. I hope our family doesn’t lose his job. I’m the bad person,” Jennifer Petkov said Friday. “I feel horrible for what I’ve said and done. That little girl shouldn’t have had to lose her mom like that and she shouldn’t have to lose her life either. I just hope she didn’t see those pictures.”

  7. Robert
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I like how Scott Petkov is trying to claim his trouble at work is due to all this stuff, as if his stupid wife’s behavior at home is grounds for his dismissal. I’m pretty sure he’s in trouble at work because he’s an idiot and doesn’t do his job right – not because of any crap that he and his wife have been doing to their neighbors. These Petkovs seem like really crazy assholes looking for every opportunity to blame other people for their miserable lives.

  8. Elf
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Would this be a good place to insert a dig at Digg?

    http://i.imgur.com/k0Anp.jpg

    Good work, Reddit!

  9. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    As some one who lived in Trenton for a year, I wish I could say this surprised me, but it doesn’t. As much as I loved my appartment on the Detroit River, and walks in Elizabeth Park, I just couldn’t stand all of the mean spirited, ignorant people Downriver. Not that everyone there is bad, or that we don’t have mean, ignorant people here, there just seems to be a concentration of them Downriver. The woman in this case reminds me of so many that I met, though I doubt most would have sunk this low.

  10. Andy C
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    There’s two sides to every story. I’m curious what the Edward family did to cause such hate. Regardless, what ever it was Huntington’s Disease seems like punishment enough.

    I would have posted this story instead…
    “Sheriff’s Deputy Crashes While Texting”
    http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/sheriff-crashes-while-texting?obref=obinsite

  11. Peter Larson
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I don’t like my neighbors either, but I can’t fathom why anyone would do something like this.

  12. James
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Those pictures are really sick but would make nice cover art for the next Monkey Power Trio album.

  13. Peter Larson
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I just watched the video. The Petkovs are total trash.

  14. Kim
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    In their defense, the Petkovs have a valid reason for their behavior. Their children were not asked over to the neighbors’ house quickly enough when they inflated a rented moon walk.

  15. Peter Larson
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    That they have reproduced is the most salient problem here.

  16. Anonymatt
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Mr. X, actually I think it might be:
    “Good always wins” on the shoulder.
    Mark should be able to confirm.

  17. MiltTon
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Good does not always win. Sadly, this little girl has no hope of living into her teens.

  18. John Galt
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    This woman is strong and forceful. She stands up for what she believes in. She is a true patriot, unafraid of the sniveling little comments left by pantywastes such as yourselves.

  19. Posted October 12, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    This is going to be like that little boy who went up on the weather balloon. EVERYONE on earth will know this story soon.

  20. Dirtgrain
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if this women has some sort of mental illness. “Brutal honesty”–is that a symptom of anything? Sociopath?

  21. Cara
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    To Kim above re the valid reason…I am only hoping that you are kidding that not being invited over quickly enough or at all would warrant anyone the right to do what these people did.

  22. TeacherPatti
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I don’t mean to speak for Kim, but I’m pretty positive she (presuming she’s a she but then again could be a he) is kidding. The story I heard was that there was a moon walk in the front yard of the little girl, the mean trashy neighbor texted the grandma to ask if her kids could come and bounce, Grandma was busy (!!!!!) with other things (!!!!!!!!) and didn’t get back right away, thus pissing off the mean trashy “brutally honest” woman. I get the impression that the kids COULD have come over, but Grandma had her hands full and couldn’t respond immediately. The scarier thing is that if THIS could piss off this woman enough to act this way…what if you REALLY slighted her?!?!?!

  23. Peter Larson
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    There are people like this all over Michigan.

  24. Posted October 13, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Could there have been a reason the Petkov children were not invited? hmmm…I live 20 minutes away from that trashy wench & would not waste good petrol on the ride! They will spend their ‘lives’ in muddy pants & it will always be another persons fault! Scary that they have children of their own, eh? Could it be possible that Scott got himself into hot water @ his job?
    What is that saying? Never let your alligator mouth overload your canary a#@.
    Too bad their isn’t a reform school for knuckle-head ‘parents’

  25. Edward
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Looks like her big day in Ann Arbor went pretty well.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/dr6sy/kathleen_the_little_girl_with_huntingtons/

  26. ilnj
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry there is NOTHING a seven year old girl could do to piss off a reasonable adult to motivate that behavior. The woman has numerous restraining orders etc she is clearly a waste of space and a useless b__ch. She is pretty so she got herself a dumb man to go along with her.

    People like that should have their citizenship stripped and be sent to live in northern mexico.

  27. Tim
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    As of this moment, Petkov is in jail for trying to run over another neighbor.

    http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/woman-who-taunted-kathleen-edward-is-arrested_jennifer_petkov_20100915_dk?id=23

  28. Gay OCD
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Just hold on an f’ing minute every one of you!!!!!!

    I didn’t get invited over for the moonwalk party either!!!!!!

    I’ll see all of you AND GRANDMA IN HELL!!!!!!!

  29. Kerri
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I took two programming classes from Hans at U-M’s School of Information. He’s good people.

  30. Posted October 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Jennifer Petkov apparently had her kids taken away from her over this.

  31. Jones
    Posted April 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    For those of you who don’t know, Kathleen died in 2012. Thank you for keeping her alive on this site, and in your hearts.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/girl-bullied-battling-terminal-disease-dies/story?id=15355512

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