07/12/2012 07:55 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Long-Lost Sisters Separated At Birth 64 Years Ago Discover They Are TWINS

Long-lost sisters separated at birth 64 years ago discover they are TWINSSWNS

Two long-lost sisters have been reunited after 64 years – and discovered they are TWINS!

Jenny Lucas and Helen Edwards were separated at birth and led incredibly different lives. They didn't even know of each other's existence until 2003.

And when they finally met in 2007, they believed they were only half-sisters – until DNA tests revealed the truth.

The girls were born on Tyneside in December 1948. Jenny was given up for adoption with a loving family and eventually became an Open Golf Champion, while Helen stayed with her birth mother and endured a harsh upbringing with her violent stepfather.

When she was 14, Jenny, who grew up in Jesmond, Newcastle, was determined to find her birth family after learning her mum and dad weren't her biological parents.

She finally tracked down her birth mother, Mercia Lumsden, in Whitley Bay – who revealed that Jenny had a sister.

After further investigations, the sisters were finally reunited. They had no reason to believe they were twins because they had different birth dates.

But they were struck by how similar they were and so decided to take a DNA test, which confirmed they were non-identical twins.

The shock discovery meant Helen had effectively lost 15 months of her life, because she believed she was 62 years old when she was in fact 64.

Helen, from Morpeth, Northumberland, said: "I have been lied to about my birth all my life. All the big dates in my life, like my 21st birthday, have been false.

"This has been incredible and it has been a very difficult time. Discovering we were twins was happy news but a real shock.

"For twins to be separated at birth is hugely emotional, but it does partly explain the similarities between us - we were brought up differently but are so alike."

For more than half a century they lived separate and vastly different lives. One was raised by a violent father, later carving out a career as a nurse; the other had a privileged upbringing and became a women's golf champion.

But the one thing Helen and Jenny shared was an intuitive feeling that part of their life was missing.

Helen said: "I had a difficult childhood of disappointment, heartbreak and violence. I didn't have a clue about Jenny.

"Yet we always both felt something was missing from our lives.

"Now we know what it was. We missed out on our time together - but we're adamant it's something we're never going to lose again."