SWITCHED AT BIRTH – 72 YEARS AGO!
WOMEN NEVER FELT LIKE TRUE FIT WITH THEIR FAMILIES
N A mind-boggling mix-up, two Minnesota women lived the wrong lives for 72 years — after being switched at birth!
Linda Jourdeans always wondered why she was the lone redhead in a family of blondes.
Denice Juneski, on the other hand, was the only blonde and non-sports fan in a family of dark-haired athletes.
Something didn’t add up, and DNA tests revealed the truth: The two were switched at birth after being born 31 minutes apart in the early morning hours at a St. Paul hospital on Dec. 19, 1945!
“It’s a crazy thing,” Denice said.
I“People just automatically assume they got the right family.” The two have no idea how the mix-up occurred, and both grew up in happy families, but each felt like an oddball. Denice was the only member of her clan who wasn’t an avid athlete. The father she grew up with played professional baseball for an indie-league team, the St. Paul Saints, and her de facto sister is in the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame. Linda, meanwhile, was the only athletic member of her family, playing competitive softball well into her 50s. “Sometimes I had that sense that I didn’t quite fit in,’’ Denice said. “I was really supposed to be another person.” Denice, a genealogy buff, initiated the discovery by submitting her DNA to an ancestry service in April. The results revealed she didn’t match anyone in her family — and eventually led her to Linda. The women eventually met, leading to another emotional moment.
Linda — who was 17 when her mother died of cancer at 42 — reunited with her biological mother, Marianne Mayer, Denice’s childhood mom, who at 99, is in memory care.
Although the discovery turned her world upside down, Denice said: “I consider it a gift, and good things come out of it.”
Denice Juneski was born on Dec. 19, 1945 ... The two women found each other after submitting toDNA tests... and so was Linda Jourdeans!