Friends find out they’re related thanks to DNA kit

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. -- DNA kits continue to gain in popularity all across the country and are helping people learn more about their health. The kits are even connecting some people with family members they never knew they had.

Two women in Pennsylvania say ordering a DNA kit from 23andMe was destiny. Debra and Suzanne have been friends for years, according to WPMT.

Suzanne Keller met Debra Wisor 15 years ago when she started coaching her son Josh. She was a coach for the Dauphin Swim team.

Over the next 15 years a undeniable bond was made between the two ladies. The two bonded over swim team matches, fundraisers and more.

One specific moment sticks out for Wisor when she says the relationship changed from acquaintances to friends who acted more like family. "Honestly it was probably the day we heard about her car accident."

Six years ago Keller’s world changed. She was in a car accident that caused brain damage. She was no longer able to drive.

Wisor and her son Josh stepped up and started driving Keller where she needed to go. This included swim practice. Keller says something with their relationship changed. "It got to the point where I was telling people that they were my family."

In 2017 the world for the women changed again. Wisor was diagnosed with breast cancer.

It was Keller’s turn to step up. She started inviting Wisor over to hug puppies that she was raising to become service dogs.

Wisor says hugging the dogs was a huge stress reliever. "For me it was just something where I didn't have to think about whether my body was trying to kill me today."

This is about the same time Keller decided that she wanted to know more about her health, her body and her family. She sent away for a DNA kit from 23andMe.

Two years later Wisor did the same, ordering the 23andMe kits at Christmas. “One day I get this e-mail that says you have 46 new relatives."

Deb says she scanned the list of relatives and she saw someone named "S. Keller". She kept scanning the pages until something made her eyes go wide. She had a new family member named Joseph Keller. "Now what are the chances this Joseph Keller is the same Joseph Keller that I know?"

Suzanne Keller says Wisor texted her to ask a question. "She texted me and she said, did your husband or son do 23andMe? And I said yeah they both did. She said which one went by Joseph Keller?  I said they both did!"

Within 30 minutes the friends were able to connect the family tree. Wisor says the relationship they discovered is that "Susan Conrad is the sister to William Harris Conrad. They were siblings and she (Susan Conrad) is my (Deb's) great-grandmother. He (William Harris Conrad) is her (Susie's) great-grandfather."

Wisor and Keller are third cousins, but if you didn’t know any better and were meeting them for the first time you might think they are long-lost sisters.

Wisor says their friendship is fate. "Between Susie's car accident and my breast cancer, yes there is a type of destiny there."

"Such a small world that she really is related." Keller says she has been telling people Wisor was her family for years. "After I was telling everybody that I felt like she was related to me she really is!"

This is just the start for the two women. Wisor is going to attend Keller's next family-reunion - now her family reunion.

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