Long-lost sister was hidden just round the corner
“It really was incredible how quickly it happened,” Susan said.
Susan said the breakthrough kickstarted a fast chain of events that neither of the ladies could have imagined.
“Through that we were able to track down some other family members and that led us to a great niece of Cheryl’s mother,” Susan said.
“Then we forwarded a photo of Cheryl and that photo got passed on to Kevin — who turns out to be Cheryl’s brother — and he apparently took one look and said, ‘yep she’s one of us’.”
Cheryl’s biological family made contact with her after this and had some incredible news for her.
“So then I got the call from Cheryl saying I have exciting news, and I thought she was finally getting her foot fixed,” Susan said.
“She said, I have a sister in Kyabram. I just couldn’t believe it to be honest and I said, well, what’s her name? When she told me Helen Young. I thought, fair dinkum, it can’t be the Helen Young I know, surely.”
Helen was contacted by her family about the news and couldn’t believe what she was hearing. However, just like her brother Kevin, she needed only one glance at a photo of Cheryl to know that she was looking at her sister.
“I had absolutely no idea, I was gobsmacked to find out I had a sister that I didn’t even know existed — and she was living in Kyabram,’’ Helen said.
‘‘When I saw the photo I thought, oh my God that is my mother — well our mother — all over,” Helen said.
The fact that both of the sisters are now based in Kyabram is purely coincidental, with Cheryl only moving to the town from Gippsland midway through 2016 and Helen spending time in Toowoomba and then Tongala.
“There’s no doubt that they have had some close encounters; I was with Cheryl once and Helen dropped off some cards for us to play — it’s all just very weird,” Susan said.
Susan then organised a meeting for the sisters, and Helen said it was tough to abide by the rules.
“I haven’t slept over the last few days — I’ve been a bundle of nerves. It has been hard not to just track her down and knock on her door,” Helen said.
The pair walked into the Kyabram Club from opposite sides of the building and once the tears had slowed, they began sorting through some old photos and memorabilia. Helen and Cheryl worked through their family tree and posed for family photos.
The sisters said they wouldn’t waste the time they have together.
“I always wanted a sister, my adopted family had a brother but I just always wanted a sister and now I have one,” Cheryl said.
“It’s incredible, it really is,” Helen said.
Sisters Helen Young, left, and Cheryl Lawson, right, greet each other for the first time; look at old photos, inset top; and with mutual friend Susan Fulton, inset above