J.K. Rowling wrote a letter from Dumbledore to an extraordinary girl who lived

Contributed by
Aug 7, 2014, 5:26 PM EDT (Updated)

The world can be an ugly place. Life can seem futile and death profoundly senseless. You'd be hard pressed not to feel that way when you hear the story of 15-year-old Texas resident Cassidy Stay. When Cassidy's uncle came to her parent's house looking for his ex-wife, her family refused to tell him anything. Stay's uncle responded by shooting and brutally murdering her parents and four siblings.

Cassidy was also shot, but survived by playing dead until she could contact the police.

She was, in essence, the girl who lived.

I say that not to trivialize her experience by comparing it with a fictional character's story, but because Cassidy, as a Potter fan, drew the comparison herself. At the memorial service for her family, she spoke the words of Albus Dumbledore: "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

It didn't take long for Stay's story to travel. And it wasn't long before a Facebook page turned up called, simply, "We want JK Rowling to meet Cassidy Stay." That's a pretty understandable wish. It may happen, it may not. But one thing has already happened -- J.K. Rowling has gotten in touch.

The Facebook page confirmed this Monday that "JK Rowling did, in fact, write her (Cassidy) a personalized letter from ‘Dumbledore’ (hand-written with purple ink). She was also sent a wand, an acceptance letter to Hogwarts with a school supply list, along with the 3rd book with JK’s autograph."

Sometimes it's easy to forget the profound impact a work of fiction can have on the world, or, in this case, on the life of one girl. We're glad Rowling was able to provide some comfort to Cassidy. Whatever Dumbledore's words may be, they cannot change what's past, but they can hopefully help Cassidy continue to live and continue to inspire others with her words and her deeds.

(via The Mary Sue)