A little girl whose story touched more people in two years than others have in a lifetime, , died in Wyandotte due to complications of Huntington’s disease Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012. She was 9 years old.
Kathleen’s battle with Huntington’s disease inspired thousands of people who showered her with gifts, good wishes, vacations and prayers.
Kathleen spent most of her life fighting the disease, making it difficult for her to be involved in sports. Instead, she enjoyed reading and listening to her iPod.
“A friend bought her an iPod and she loved it,” Kathleen’s grandmother Rebecca Rose said. “She would just play songs for hours.”
Born on Nov. 5, 2002 in Wyandotte, MI, Kathleen also liked riding her bike, when her health allowed, and water slides.
Huntington’s disease also claimed the lives of Kathleen’s mother, Laura Kelly Edward; grandfather, Wilson O’Brien; and cousin, Kyle O’Brien.
Kathleen developed a strong love for elephants. It was her mother’s favorite animal.
The love people had for Kathleen was immeasurable.
One admiring fan, Timothy Carr, a New York City police officer, drove from New York to Kathleen’s father’s house in Wyandotte to make her an honorary New York City police officer by presenting her with a plaque and trophy. Carr, having heard Kathleen’s story, brought her a New Your City Police Department uniform, badge and handcuffs.
“We’re all saddened here,” Chief Jim Nardone of the said. “She was a brave young girl who inspired all of us.”
Kathleen is survived by her grandmother; father, Robert Edward; stepmother Gabrielle Edward; two younger sisters, Ashley and Maddison; aunts Marie, Holly and Shannon; uncles Jesse, Ron and Ray; great-grandfather Edward; as well as several cousins and step-siblings.
Michigan Memorial Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. A visitation is scheduled from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13 and funeral services are scheduled for noon on Saturday, Jan. 14. She will be laid to rest at Mount Hope Cemetery next to her mother.
Memorial contributions for Kathleen may be made to Robert Edward.
"Thanks to everyone for their love and their support,” Rose said.