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Reconnecting: Special surprise for Solon woman and her reunited sisters

Rene' Scarpa was reunited with her sisters in May of 2021 after being separated for 55 years.

SOLON, Ohio — It's been about six months since we last saw Rene' Scarpa. At the time, she was searching for the sisters she last saw 55 years ago. 

The family lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but after a family tragedy, Rene' was separated from her three half-sisters.

For so long, Rene' believed they didn't want her to find them.

"Through all of the grief and all of the hurt and everybody kind of protecting themselves and their own feelings. I think maybe that's where the understanding came, that they didn't want anything to do with us," Rene' said back in May.

That, of course, turned out not to be true.

Our search angels from DNANow, Janet Rinardo Travis and Lynette Caton Bryan, located Rene's half-sisters, Vicki Dumbei and Connie Cruz.

On a Zoom call back in May, we surprised Rene' with the news.

"This is Vicki and this is Connie. They are your sisters," we told Rene'.

She was in shock but bursting with gratitude.

"It's a reality that I felt for so long that it's really hard to get my mind wrapped around a different reality, but it's a great problem to have, you know what I mean?" Rene' told us.

Since reuniting, the sisters have gone on with everyday life. Vicki lives in Iowa with her family. Connie is in Illinois with hers. And, Rene'? She lives in Solon.

The sisters get together every month for Zoom calls. They say it's been indescribable catching up on lost time.

"It's just amazing to me. Like I said, it just seems on the same level as a miracle," Rene' said.

"It's been wonderful To get to know her has been wonderful. We talk very freely and openly and we have shared values," Vicki said.

"There's just so much that is similar. It's like uncanny. It's unbelievable," Connie said.

But, meeting in the middle of a pandemic, and some health issues, have kept them apart. Still, they all dream of the moment they'll meet face to face.

"Oh, I love long hugs," Connie said.

To help the sisters achieve their first in-person reunion, when they're ready, Southwest Airlines hooked them up with round trip tickets. And, Hilton Cleveland Downtown donated rooms.

Now, Connie and Vicki have a great start to come see the sister that they haven't seen in person for more than 55 years.

"Oh, wow. That's amazing. Thank you so much!" Rene' said after the surprise.

For now, the sisters are enjoying the moment and living by the old saying, "Some things are just worth the wait."

"I am really happy to have Rene' in my life," Vicki said.

"Get those arms strengthened Rene'. Here comes the huggers!" Connie said.

Rene' responded: "I'm ready for a girl's weekend!"

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