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Lost Family Ancestry - KOAM TV 7

Lost Family Ancestry

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WEBB CITY, MISSOURI -

Imagine learning you have a long-lost sibling, and then you find out, you both, have another long lost sibling. That's the case for one Webb City woman, and her brother, or, now, "brothers", in Rochester, New York.

Darlene Sarley's family frequently comes to her home in Webb City. They enjoy each others company and soon, they could be enjoying more company.
Sarley found one brother a few years back.

Darlene Sarley, Sister: "For years I knew that Tommy was out there, but i had not had contact with him."

She's talking about Tom Parsons. He lives in Rochester, New York, which is where Darlene says she's from originally. They made contact through MySpace. During the summer of this year, Darlene decided to go a bit further and see who else was out there.

Tom Parsons, Brother: "I just had to follow suit and say hey, lets verify all of this and lets see what else is out there.  so, Darlene and Scott really got the ball rolling with the whole ancestry thing."

Scott is Darlene's son. After they did the DNA tests, Darlene called Tom with some urgent news.

Parsons: "Our sister Darlene had sent me a message late on a Friday night, saying 'hey, do you know a Shaun Freeman?'  and I said 'I don't everybody by their last name, it doesn't sound familiar, and she goes, 'well, he's our brother.'"

The most interesting part of that discovery..

Parsons: "Come to find out that my daughter was friends with his daughter, my neighbors were friends with him and his wife, and we lived about a mile to a mile and a half apart."

Shaun, had taken his DNA test just to find out about his heritage.

Shaun Freeman, Brother: "I was completely mind blown at the time."

As for their sister Darlene..

Sarley: "When you have one that shows up on your DNA, that you had no idea, it's like wow, and, it...to me it's pretty exciting."

Tom and Darlene have actually met once in recent years. Now they're trying to get all three together for a special reunion. But the new-found siblings agree there was a greater power pushing them together at this moment. Tom, has Stage 4 Endocrine Cancer.

Freeman: "I can't explain even what to even think about that, there has to be something more powerful making decisions somewhere."
Sarley: "I think it's very important to stay in touch, knowing what's going on in each other's families, being there for one another in your ups and your downs, because you never know, you never know how long you're going to have one another."

And Tom, says with that support, he's never felt better.

Parsons: "My support line just got so much bigger, and so much stronger."

Tom says he and his new-found brother Shuan, get together every weekend in Rochester. And both of them keep in nearly daily contact with their sister Darlene.

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Chris Warner
Reporter

A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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