Imagine finding out at 72 years old that you had been switched at birth.
That’s the reality for two women in the U.S. after one of them turned to the genealogy company 23andMe to research her ancestry. What she found was life-changing.
Denice Juneski told NBC reporter Boyd Huppert that she had trouble believing the results at first. Juneski said she submitted DNA to the site for testing and the results revealed that her genealogy “didn’t match anybody” in her family.
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It was through a niece that Linda Jourdeans eventually learned of the possible mix-up.
The niece saw Juneski come up in her own genealogy results. Jourdeans immediately ordered a test to check her own results – which confirmed that the two women had been sent home from the hospital with the wrong families.
The pair were born 31 minutes apart at St. Paul’s Bethesda Hospital in Minnesota, Wis. on Dec. 17, 1945.
Both women told NBC they were the outliers in their family.
“Sometimes I had that sense; that I didn’t quite fit in,” Juneski told Huppert.
Juneski said she never had the athletic streak that others in her family did. Jourdeans, on the other hand, was the only athletic one in her family and played softball well into her 50’s.
Both women admit they’ll likely never find out how the mistake was made.
“We’ll never know and I’m sure the nurses, and that, are dead that probably took care of us,” said Jourdeans.
The pair have visited each other multiple times since learning about the mix-up through 23andMe.
Juneski told NBC she’s glad to have found out.
“I consider it a gift,” she said.