Magazine helps family to meet for first time

Theresa, Jamie, Bryony and Sue and, right, the magazine article.
Theresa, Jamie, Bryony and Sue and, right, the magazine article.
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Two young people with Down’s syndrome discovered they share a family member – after they were featured on the same page of a magazine.

Bryony and Jamie both featured in Down2Earth magazine, produced twice a year by the Down’s Syndrome Association for its members.

The pair live more than 300 miles apart and had no idea that their mums shared a cousin until, after seeing their stories next to each other in the magazine, the pieces of the jigsaw were put together.

Bryony, who lives in Morecambe, and Jamie, who is from Dover in Kent, are both in their 20s. They both have Down’s syndrome and had featured in the September 2018 issue of the magazine.

The family connection came to light when Bryony’s mum Theresa had her cousin Linda to visit. Bryony proudly showed Linda her article in the magazine and Linda instantly recognised the face on the next page – it was Jamie, her adopted cousin Sue’s son!

Linda had been adopted by Sue’s aunt and uncle in the 1950s and had grown up in the family. She later decided to search for her birth family, connecting with Theresa, her blood cousin. Contact was made between the families but the distance between their homes made getting together in person a challenge. But when Sue and Jamie happened to be travelling back from a trip to Scotland, a plan was hatched – the two families would meet at Blackpool FC, as part of a treat that had been booked for Jamie’s birthday.

The families only met for an hour, but it was a meeting they will remembered forever.

Bryony said:“I was so excited to go to Blackpool because it’s my favourite place, and to meet Jamie who was on the same page as me. We didn’t know each other but we both like football. Without Linda we wouldn’t have met, two strangers on the same page.”

Sue said: “They just clicked. They were so happy to meet each other. I feel like two families have been united, all because of a magazine.”

Bryony’s mum Theresa said: “I was surprised and delighted with the coincidence of Bryony and Jamie’s stories appearing on the same page of the magazine, and even more pleased to then have the opportunity of meeting him and his parents. It’s very special as it connects two parts of my lovely cousin Linda’s life in the most unexpected and serendipitous way.”