Years-long search leads mom from one genetic peril to a different threat

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Liz Telesco is struggling with a whole range of emotions. After spending years trying to find the daughter who was taken away from her at birth, Telesco has learned her first born might have died nearly 40 years ago.

“I always looked, saying, ‘Oh my God is this my daughter? Is this my daughter?’ Then to find out she was 20 minutes away from me all this time.”

The West Side grandmother’s search took on a new sense of urgency when she learned she has a genetic deficiency called Lynch syndrome that can hinder the body’s ability to fight cancer.

Liz feared she had passed that mutation on to her daughter, and she set out to find her first born—Liz raised 4 other children—to help prepare her for taking on Lynch syndrome.

News 4 reported Telesco’s odyssey to find her daughter Tuesday.

Maria Orozco, founder of the website “Travel Entourage,” took up Liz’s cause, and on Wednesday  people contacted Telesco with new information. They identified a girl who matched Telesco’s daughter is many ways: She had the same birthday, March 6, 1966, she was adopted, and she had a striking resemblance to Liz’s children.

Orozco has seen the pictures and is convinced they show Liz’s daughter, “She was able to find her, and the connection now she can have the closure that she really, really needs.”

The girl in the pictures, according to the accounts died at age 16, in 1982, not from a disease linked to Lynch syndrome, but another deadly disease, cystic fibrosis.

“She does look like me, she looks like my children,” Telesco said, “Every one of the pictures that this girl sent I could see my children in it.”

The new discovery is now leading Telesco to a new health concern. Cystic fibrosis draws on genetic mutations from both parents, which means Liz would be a carrier, and one of her daughters has tested positive for the gene. Her daughter’s child, Telesco’s grandchild, however, is okay.

As Liz considers whether the girl in the picture is indeed her daughter, it is bringing her a feeling of peace, “I feel she had a pretty good life.  She lived in Tonawanda, went to Catholic schools. I just feel like she had a good life. The pictures that were sent to me, every one she is smiling in, you could tell she is happy.”

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