IT TOOK 72 years, but two women born half an hour apart
in 1945 in the same hospital have finally learnt that they were raised by the
According to KARE
11, Linda Jourdeans and Denice Juneski from Minnesota, America had lived
happy enough lives, assuming like most of us do that the family they were
raised by were their biological relatives.
Now and then they noticed things that they thought were a
bit different, but didn’t pay those doubts much attention.
But in April Denice decided to do some research into her
family tree. She took a DNA test and submitted the results to a website called
23andMe, which uses this genetic information to identify others who share the
To her amazement, the results revealed that her DNA didn’t
match any of the people who she had thought of as being her family her whole
“Either 23andMe made a mistake, or I was switched at
birth. I was really supposed to be another person,” said Denice.
Then in another twist of fate, Linda’s niece also
submitted her own DNA to 23andMe – and was curious to know who this stranger
called Denice was who, according to the website, shared similar genes to her.
Linda immediately also submitted her DNA results to
23andMe. She was shocked when the website identified a woman she’d never met
before as being her mum: Marianne Mayer, the woman who had raised Denice as her
The woman Linda had thought was her mum, Rochelle
Nielsen, died from cancer when Linda was 17. Marianne, now 99, is living nearby
in a care centre for people with memory problems.
Linda and Denice doubt they will ever find out exactly
how the switch occurred, but they are delighted to have found each other and
are slowly meeting the families they never knew they had.
“I consider it a gift,” Denice said.