The Halo Club

Kathryn Benton, a 12-year-old afflicted with Angelman syndrome, cannot talk. But the special friendship she has with Emily Faber, a gifted fourth-grader from McKinney, speaks volumes.

After Emily's birthday party, Debbie Faber was so overcome with feelings she sat down at her computer and committed some of them to paper. It was meant to be a journal entry, for no one but herself. But she gave a copy to Holly Clemons after the teacher had had a particularly bad, frustrating day with her class. Clemons encouraged Debbie to give the Bentons a copy and to read it at a recent school-board meeting.

It is, of course, about Emily and Kathryn.
"I think about how lucky we are to have what we have--two little girls who have found an unconditional love to share at this time in their lives," Debbie wrote that night, "two little girls who communicate without the roadblock we adults might see...

"Emily knows that Kathryn will move up to middle school next year, and she doesn't think it's fair that Kathryn is going on without her. I think she'll find some way to get up to Dowell Middle School a lot next year...All this is pretty amazing when you remember a Little Angel who doesn't speak orchestrated it. Some of us have Angels on our shoulders, and others have them in the classroom.

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