Long-lost brother found

Siblings spend an unforgettable Family Day together in Southern Alberta

By DAWN BOOTH, Connect Weekly

Shylow Wilson with her long-lost brother Matthew Handford on February 15 at her Calgary home. The two are holding Wilson’s original message poster that went viral on social media and brought the family together. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Shylow Wilson with her long-lost brother Matthew Handford on February 15 at her Calgary home. The two are holding Wilson’s original message poster that went viral on social media and brought the family together. SUPPLIED PHOTO

A social media miracle united siblings together for the first time on Family Day, after Calgary resident Shylow Wilson’s viral Facebook message had been spotted by her long-lost brother Matthew Handford.

“My life feels complete now,” 25-year-old Wilson shared. “I’m very happy I found him and super thankful.”

Connect first published the story of Wilson on January 14, after she suspected her brother to be living in Fort McMurray. She turned to Facebook on New Year’s Eve with a message written on a poster board stating information about Handford’s biological background. The original message has been shared over 8,000 times.

It turns out Handford had not been living in the same province, but on the other side of the country in Toronto, ON. When they first made contact online on February 11, Wilson wasn’t sure of her reality.

“It was surreal,” she explained. “And I was skeptical, as I had someone else believe he was my brother, but it turned out he wasn’t.”

Shortly after coming to the conclusion of their relations, Handford flew across the country to the city of Calgary to meet Wilson and his two other siblings, Brandon and Jen. They spent Family Day sharing questions and conversations about their birth mother and childhood.

“He basically just asked me questions about the adoption and about our mother,” Wilson said of Handford. “He didn’t know how or why she passed away. We also talked about our interests and passions – one, of which we have in common, is automotive.”

“It was a really amazing feeling with a lot of emotions and almost a relief,” she said on meeting Handford for the first time.

According to Wilson, her birth mother Marilyn Levasseur died from alcoholism at the young age of 24 years and she was survived by four children, who were all born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Wilson said out of the four of them, her brother Matthew was the only one who didn’t reconnected with his other siblings, until now.

Seeing him on Family Day, Wilson said she’s relived.

“It was a really amazing feeling with a lot of emotions and almost a relief,” she said on meeting Handford for the first time.

In the fall of 2016, she plans on flying to see him again in Toronto.

-Connect Weekly-