By Paula Ebben

HAVERHILL (CBS) — For a Haverhill family, the movie “Wonder” headed to the big screen on Friday will be more than a just a movie, it will be an opportunity.

The film is helping spread awareness about kids just like their own Wonder Girl.

Five-year-old Cassie Nicholas has Treacher Collins Syndrome, an extremely rare genetic condition that affects the development of the bones in her face, just like the fictional character in the movie.

wonder girl Wonder Movie Excites Haverhill Girl With Treacher Collins Syndrome

Cassie Nicholas who has Treacher Collins Syndrome. (WBZ-TV)

“It affects one out of 50,000 kids,” says mom Eva Nicholas.

“Her facial bones never fully developed,” explains Jeremy Nicholas, Cassie’s father.

In addition to facial deformities, the syndrome causes problems with breathing, eating, and hearing.

Cassie isn’t just wearing a cute headband. The small device on top sends sounds through her skull so she can hear.

wonder girl 2 Wonder Movie Excites Haverhill Girl With Treacher Collins Syndrome

Eva and Cassie Nicholas (WBZ-TV)

And that’s not a necklace she’s wearing, it’s a tracheostomy to help her breathe.

In her five years, Cassie has endured seven surgeries and has many more to go. She also has a nurse who works with her 40 hours a week.

“She knows she’s different. She definitely knows she looks different, but she says ‘if we were all the same, it would be boring,'” says Jeremy.

At Cassie’s age, most of her classmates are just curious. “We’ve had a couple of people who were like, what’s wrong with her face? Why does she have a weird face? But they just want to know. Once we tell them, they’re like,’Cassie come and play with me,'” Eva says.

Cassie’s parents are excited about the new movie. “I hope that it teaches everyone to be kind, parents, kids and how we all have feelings. I think that’s very important,” says Eva.

And Cassie agrees. “It’s pretty awesome to be different,” she says.

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