The AMAZING Cassidy Hooper inspires the world - | WBTV Charlotte

The AMAZING Cassidy Hooper inspires the world

2-Year-old Katarina Tannehill 2-Year-old Katarina Tannehill
The Tannehill Family The Tannehill Family
2-Year-old Katarina Tannehill 2-Year-old Katarina Tannehill
2-Year-old Katarina Tannehill 2-Year-old Katarina Tannehill
Cassidy Hooper and WBTV's Molly Grantham Cassidy Hooper and WBTV's Molly Grantham

If you follow WBTV news you know about Cassidy Hooper, a special Charlotte girl born with no eyes and no nose. We've been featuring her for years. 

You can now say Charlotte's own AMAZING Cassidy Hooper is inspiring people around the world.

A mother 3,000 miles away in Washington State recently saw our stories online. She says they helped spur her to adopt a two-year-old child born in the Ukraine with the same rare condition.

We first met Cassidy in March, 2008. She was 12. Months later, she invited us to the first of many surgeries to get a nose.  Since then we've watched Cassidy grow up and this past year, reported excitedly when her medically-created, functional, awesome, nose was almost complete.

All of our stories of Cassidy are always on  WBTV's Molly Grantham then also puts them on her Facebook page.

It was there, on Facebook, 30-year-old Melissa Tannehill – who lives in a one stoplight town in Washington state – saw Cassidy living as normally as any other teenager.  They were timely stories for Melissa to see.  She had been talking with an adoption clinic doctor about whether or not she and her husband should adopt a two-year-old girl in an orphanage in the Ukraine, also born with no eyes and no nose.

"People kept sending me your stories," she told Anchor Molly Grantham.  "And I saw how well Cassidy was doing.  I saw all she was doing and all she was going through.  I saw how strong her family was and we just thought it was amazing and it seemed really doable for us."

Melissa and her husband decided to go for it.  They adopted two-year-old Katarina, who they call Katie, and another little boy, Woody, from that orphanage.  Both are now living a loving home, thriving with her big, new, full-of-faith family.

Melissa says she used an organization called "Reece's Rainbow" to help facilitate getting Katie and Woody out of the Ukraine.  She wants others to know many other children are still there waiting for another loving family to say "yes".

Here's a link to the Reece's Rainbow page with pictures of Katie and Woody, that Melissa originally saw when trying to decide.

"I am passionate about starving and abused children left behind," Melissa said.  "I'd love for people to know about Reece's Rainbow.  We wanted to help, and love our big family."

In a separate twist of how Cassidy inspires, a woman from Finland emailed Molly after seeing the Cassidy stories on Facebook.  She said she had a daughter born the same way.  Seeing other families continents away going through the same thing spurred her to start a Facebook page for parents of children born without noses. You can find that Facebook page here.

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