A dying Michigan girl, who recently became target of cyberbullying by neighbors, is getting support from across the world. Well-wishers from across the globe are sending donations to the terminally ill little girl and her family.
Kathleen Edward, a 7-year-old girl, is dying of Huntington’s disease, a degenerative brain disease. Unfortunately, the small girl is in the final stages of HD that causes certain nerve cells in the brain to waste away.
Neighborhood dispute resulted in cyberbullying
A simple, but longtime feud between two neighbors turned to the extent that one family didn’t hesitate to torment the other’s dying girl.
Kathleen, who is on her death bed, has allegedly been mercilessly cyberbullied by a grown woman.
According to The Detroit News, a longtime friend of the Edward family alerted the media about Petkov's alleged cyberbullying
Made fun of the girl’s condition
Jennifer Petkov, of Trenton, Michigan, who is neighbor of the girl’s grandmother Rebecca Rose, reportedly posted Kathleen’s pictures on a skull and crossbones.
Kathleen lives with her grandmother. The little girl lost her own mother, Laura Edward, to the same degenerative brain disorder in 2009.
Jennifer, 33, also created a photo of Kathleen's mother, Laura Edward, wrapped in the arms of the Grim Reaper, and posted it on her Facebook page.
Parked a 'Death Truck' in front of girl’s house
Taking the taunting and tormenting far further, the woman's husband, Scott Petkov, painted images of death on the side of his pick-up truck and a coffin in the back and parked it in front of Rose’s home.
According to The Detroit News, a longtime friend of the Edward family alerted the media about Petkov's alleged cyberbullying.
"I don't understand how people could spew such hatred," said the family frined, Michelle Yerigian. "They had a truck with a coffin on it; the police came by and finally had them take the coffin off. (Petkov) would pull up in the truck, rev up the engine, and say to Kathleen, 'I can't wait until you die.' When I saw what she posted on Facebook, I almost threw up. I'm totally dumbfounded."
The 42-year-old friend said her 10-year-old son saw the coffin on the truck and was confused.
Most extreme case of cyberbullying
Ever since the story of the dying girl being tormented by the Petkovs made rounds on the internet, people around the world have been criticizing the heartless couple.
"This is probably the most extreme case [of cyber-bullying] I've ever heard of," said Cheryl Dellasega, author and professor of humanities at Penn State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Penn. "It's another way that people can say things that are really cruel that they wouldn't say to somebody's face. They're angry, resentful and jealous and put it up on Facebook knowing that the other person will see it."
According to myFOXDetoit, the Petkovs have apologized for their actions and removed the posts from Facebook, and dismantled the coffin.
“We apologize for our actions and stupidity. It was an ignorant thing that we did and it was basically in retaliation about things that were said about my house and my wife.”
"If I had to all over again, I wouldn’t do it," Jennifer reportedly told the station. “And to that little girl, I apologize if you’ve been hurt. There’s not much more I can say.”
Outpouring of support for Edward family
Moved by the story of the dying little girl, well-wishers from across the globe are sending donations to her.
After becoming the victim of cyberbullying by her neighbors, the girl has received donations from as far away as Japan, Australia and Europe, the website says.
Hans Masing of Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., has raised more than $9,000 for a shopping spree for Kathleen, it reports.
Also, a rally for the little girl is planned for Saturday, Oct. 23 from 3 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Haas Park in Trenton.