FRANKLIN — For 55 years of his life, Doug Jackson of Franklin, thought he was the oldest sibling in his family. It wasn’t until his daughter gave him a DNA kit for his most recent birthday, that he discovered a previously unknown older brother.
Doug’s daughter, Kaylee, has a passion for science. Currently working as a phlebotomist at Northwestern Medical Center, she was introduced to 23andMe, a web based genetic testing company, by her coworkers.
The company offers two kits, one that tests for ancestry, and one that tests for both ancestry and diseases for which there is a genetic predisposition. Once ordered, a home saliva collection box is sent in the mail. Users spit in the tube provided and mail the kit back. According to the website, it then takes six to eight weeks for the DNA to be analyzed, before a report is made available online. But for the Jacksons it took just one week to get back the results that changed their lives forever.
Kaylee’s test came first. She had asked her parents for the DNA kit for her birthday in October. When the results came back, Kaylee’s report listed a relative who no one in the family knew.
“I only had one uncle that we were aware of,” Kaylee said adding they had a pretty small family. “We originally thought it must be on my mother’s side.”
Doug’s birthday was just a few weeks later, and Kaylee decided to return the favor and give him his own test.
“I took it, and right away it came up with a possible relative the same one for her,” Doug said. “Come to find out he’s my half brother, that I never knew about.”
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