Love & Family

Woman with rare illness goes to a support group, finds father she never knew!

He looks just like her!

A woman has been reunited with her long-lost father after stumbling across him on an internet support group for her rare illness.

Melanie Eggers, 38, from New Zealand, was born with glycogen storage disease (GSD), a condition which means her body struggles to process sugars. Knowing she was adopted, she presumed she’d inherited it from one of her birth parents.

At the age of 18, Melanie met her birth mum but she didn’t have the condition. 

After struggling with it all her life, Melanie decided to search for other sufferers online for support.

‘Soon I was chatting to people from all over the world. Then one helpful lady said she knew a man who had GSD and lived in my town,’ said Melanie.

Keen to meet someone else with GSD, Melanie contacted the man, Simon Southee, 57, on Facebook.

‘He suggested we meet and talk about it in person,’ said Melanie.

As they sat down over a coffee, the topic turned to Melanie’s adoption and Simon asked Melanie if she knew who her father was.

That’s when Simon told Melanie that he’d known her birth mum many years ago and he thought he was her dad.

‘My eyes filled with tears. That’s when it dawned on me how much I looked like Simon,’ said Melanie.

A DNA test proved that they’re father and daughter and they’ve spent the past 18 months forging a relationship.

‘I finally feel like I belong,’ said Melanie.

For more great real-life stories, see issue 15 of that’s life! magazine – out now!

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