It started out as a client-hairstylist connection. But for Calgary’s Troy Winget and Andrea Quint Fleck, that relationship quickly grew into a friendship — and then a bond that surprisingly evolved into family.
“We became close and kindred spirits in a quick time,” Winget said.
“He was like half best friend, half psychologist,” Quint Fleck said.
“As much as I loved coming to get my hair cut, I loved coming so I could visit with Troy.”
Andrea had been getting her hair done by Troy for nearly seven years.
One day at the salon, the two shared their own personal curiosities about their fathers. Winget didn’t know who his dad was and Quint Fleck wanted to delve more into the family history because her dad was adopted.
“There was always questions growing up around who I thought my father was,” Winget said. “I was denied his fatherhood because he didn’t believe I was his son.”
“I always wondered, on a more biological level, who I am and what is it that makes me, me?” Quint Fleck said.
“I thought a DNA test could help me answer some of those questions.”
The two had no idea that tracing their roots would lead them shocking close to one another.
“There is a destiny here and the coolest thing — there’s 1.3 million people in Calgary and she just happened to walk through my door.
“For 52 years I didn’t know what part of the family I was missing,” Winget said.
The two submitted their DNA to two different online databases and a mutual uncle who was connected to both sites was contacted by both Winget and Quint Fleck — separately. Their relative connected the two of them and that’s when they discovered they knew other.
“I was sitting in church and my half-uncle sends me a text and tells me he was connected to this other man and we are as genetically related as he and I were.
“Then he sends me a picture and it’s Troy!
“My jaw dropped and I started to shake and I was texting my half-uncle saying, ‘Oh my God, I know that man! He’s my hairstylist!'” Quint Fleck said.
They dug deeper and discovered they’re 15 years apart and share the same dad. Their father never knew about Winget. He was conceived through a previous relationship.
“If my mom and my dad didn’t have that moment, I would not be here,” Winget said.
“How do you find the words to describe how you felt when you find your half-brother and you know him? It’s just crazy,” Quint Fleck said.
“I feel blessed. I love my sister with all my heart and we share a father, but now for the next 40 years, I have a more complete family. And to find my father and know he’s still alive and I still have time with him…” Winget said. “It’s a beautiful story and I get to be part of it. I am very fortunate that way.”
They also discovered that Quint Fleck’s full biological brother shares the same birthday as Winget.