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April 12, 2012

Editorial: Kady's 'angels' set an example of friendship and giving

The subject is angels, real life ones.

They are the group of seven close friends of Jill and Eric Giurado who banded together to support the Bradford couple when their daughter Kaydence "Kady" Giurado was born with an ailment that has baffled doctors. (See story on page 1 by Alex Lippa.)

At birth, Kady, now 3, was "like a wooden doll," her limbs stiff and unbending, her father said. She's unable to speak, and a tube provides nourishment because she can't swallow. A badly curved spine presses her internal organs and lungs. Her future is uncertain after many, many tests and more than 230 medical appointments have failed to find a definitive diagnosis, let alone an effective treatment or cure.

Doctors believe Kady is suffering from a form of hyperekplexia, a genetic disorder typically characterized by an exaggerated "startle response" that can cause the muscles to become stiff and unmovable. But the doctors are still searching for answers because Kady has the generalized stiffness, but not the startle response or the missing gene that characterize the disorder.

Despite her physical problems, Kady has brought joy and love to the Giurado family and they to her. She goes to school and loves to watch videos and play with her toys. Her brother, Nicolas, 8, like many an older brother, makes her laugh.

But it's not easy on the family. Kady requires virtually all their attention and resources. Jill Giurado has to quit her job as a nurse because she needed to be home virtually full time. Her husband, a postal carrier, took second and third jobs to help make ends meet.

That's where the angels enter the story.

After Kady was born, the seven close friends formed a group to help support the family, financially and emotionally and in practical ways, like helping with chores and keeping Nicolas occupied.

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