Fifteen-year-old Cassidy Stay made headlines last month when she quoted Albus Dumbledore at her family’s memorial, and now a report suggests J.K. Rowling responded in the best way possible.
Update: Rowling’s literary agent Neil Blair retweeted an article about this story on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, which is the closest we’ve gotten to an official confirmation about the author’s good deed.
On July 9, Stay’s uncle shot her mother, father, and four younger siblings when he entered their home and wasn’t given the location of his ex-wife. Stay was the only survivor of the shooting because she reportedly played dead after a bullet hit her finger and grazed her skull.
At the memorial service three days after the horrific incident, Stay gave a speech and quoted Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. “‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,’” she said to an audience of supporters. “I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca and Zach are in a much better place and that I’ll be able to see them again one day.”
The tragic story and her use of Dumbledore’s words grabbed the attention of well-wishers around the world, and word appears to have reached Rowling. According to LDS.net and a Facebook page that wanted to set up a meeting between Stay and Rowling, the Harry Potter author sent an amazing care package.
“This afternoon, I talked to a friend of Cassidy’s who confirmed that J.K. Rowling did, in fact, write her a personalized letter from ‘Dumbledore’ (hand-written with purple ink),” the manager of the page wrote. “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. I’m so excited and ecstatic that we were all able to make a difference! How wonderful.”
In an email to Hypable, a manager of the Facebook page tells us they received this information from a friend of the Stay family.
We’re so happy to see Rowling respond in this way.
The following news report offers a clip of Stay quoting Dumbledore if you’d like to watch for yourself:
If you’re looking for ways to help Cassidy, you can donate to a fund that has been set up to support the family.