It’s the local story that’s getting “liked” coast to coast. Two friends finding out they’re actually related through Facebook. Now, they’re heading to New York City to share their story with the world.
Two weeks ago, Paula O’Brien would have thought this was a dream… getting ready to be interviewed by Anderson Cooper after finding her 29-year-old niece, Abbey Donohoe, who was given up for adoption at birth.
Their coincidental connection has touched the Quad City community, even inspiring the owner of American Hair in Bettendorf to donate her salon skills.
“I have done it for Oprah, for Larry King, for People Magazine,” says Kear Longergan, Owner of American Hair.
“I think it was one of the first times we met,” Paula told News 8′s Angie Sharp during an interview on March 12th, 2013. “We were at a party and people were joking that we looked alike and we just thought it was funny.”
“It was just kind of a coincidence that we looked like each other,” added Abbey.
Paula and Abbey’s story has been picked up by CNN, the Huffington Post, Yahoo!, even the Press Assocation in the U.K. Now they’re on their way to New York City for their national television debut on Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show, Anderson LIVE. The appearance is expected to air sometime in April.
“I just can’t believe it’s come to this already and we’re going on Anderson Cooper,” laughs Abbey before their flight on March 20th, 2013.
“You don’t usually see the positive stories go viral like this and there is no negative angle to this story,” adds Paula.
And it’s one the girls hope to share with others who may still be searching.
“Don’t ever give up hope,” says Paula. “If you have a dream or a prayer of finding someone, don’t give up hope because there will be a way.”
“I can’t really beat how it happened for me, but if anyone is out there that wants to look or find out then go for it,” says Abbey.
Paula and Abbey’s journey does not stop here. When they return from NYC, Abbey will be meeting her grandmother for the first time and many other reunions are already in the works.
A story that has no end… just a really great beginning.