BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–For Liz Telesco it was a matter of life or death, finding her first born child to tell her about a hereditary condition that has been a medical “ticking time bomb” for many of her relatives—Lynch syndrome, a genetic deficiency that can lead to cancer.
Telesco gave birth to her daughter nearly 54 years ago, March 6, 1966, but she was a teenager at the time, and her family decided Liz would give up her newborn, the birth records would be sealed, and no one in the family would ever speak of the incident again.
In the years since that first birth, Telesco has raised 4 other children—all grown adults—and she is a grandmother, then she learned about Lynch syndrome and made it her life’s mission to find her daughter and insist she get tested.
“I heard about it three years ago, it was hereditary, I ignored it. You go in denial, I just pretended I did not hear about it.”
Liz’s search has been spread by news stories, the Internet, and social media but now at 74 years old, the West Side grandmother knows time is not on her side.
“This has been hard. I feel like it is getting closer and she may not even know she is adopted. She may not be even here anymore, I don’t know.”
Shortly after telling her story to News 4 Liz Telesco’s odyssey came to an end. Those who knew a girl that matched Telesco’s daughter—her birthday, her appearance, and her willingness to talk about being adopted–have located the daughter Liz never got to hold in her arms.
Maria Orozco is an adoptee and founder of the “Travel Entourage” website, who scours social media and the Internet to help adoptees and birth families find each other.
“She definitely got the closure that she needs and she was able to connect with this girl that went to school with her daughter. She went to a high school pretty much near her.”
That girl, first name Karen, died at the age of 16 in 1982. But Telesco learned Karen’s death was not due to cancer or a medical condition linked to Lynch syndrome, it was another hereditary disease, cystic fibrosis.
The West Side grandmother now has the closure she wanted so badly, but she is also mourning the loss of her first born child.