Heather Russell

Dear Russ Cousins,

Earlier this year we discovered the long lost daughter of cousin Linda Green, whom Linda gave birth to in Scotland in 1967 but had to give up for adoption.  (Linda died after a second stroke in June 2008, aged 62.)
It was a sad story unknown to anyone in the family bar Linda's mother, Connie, but the little baby is now a fine young woman (with a Scottish accent!) and I met her and her family in October.  Before they married Linda had told her husband, Derrick, about the baby.  However, the important thing to understand about Linda's situation all those years ago is that she did not know in 1967 that she had an inherited condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT), for she, and therefore Connie herself, were not diagnosed until about a year after the birth of the baby.  (Because of the CMT diagnosis she and Derrick decided not to have children.) 
It is a great relief that Mandy, as she is now known, does not have the CMT condition, nor has she passed it onto her two delightful children.  I met them in October (09) along with Mandy's husband.  Both Mandy and her husband  work in the field of IT and live in Buckinghamshire , but they were taking a half-term break in a holiday park chalet at Milford on Sea, so that is where I met them.  Within the previous month Mandy and her family were also able to meet their geographically closest relatives, Gerry and Ron Fisher near High Wycombe.
It is sad that Linda never knew that her daughter did not inherit the CMT condition, as they never met.  But as I saw the children playing yesterday I know that Linda would have been thrilled to see her bright grandchildren well, happy, and part of such a loving family.  This spring Mandy had a bit of a roller-coaster ride in the first few weeks after contact was made, for, as delighted as she was that she had found her blood relatives (she had tried to find Linda 11 years previously but to no avail), she had to sort out whether she could have been a carrier of the CMT to her young children.  All tests have been done and everyone is clear.  Mandy is now on the website under her original birth name of Heather Russell. 
I hope you will all be pleased to hear of this good news, despite the sad details that history has to tell.  When we do have another Russ Cousin gathering I'm sure that Mandy will come along, especially as she finds the whole Russ history fascinating anyway - the Website has served us well, thanks to Michael Harte.  I am so aware that I have the Russ Postcard project to finish, but I am dearly hoping that at some point next year I will be able to get back to it, as it will be so worthwhile for all branches of the family to see how our forebears interacted 1901-1945ish.
With my best wishes to all,
Carolyn (Findell)