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Health concerns bring sisters together in Polk County after decades apart

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WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – Long lost sisters are making up for lost time in Polk County after being separated for nearly half a century.

Marcie Dodd (left) and Patricia Greene (right) moments after their reunion at Orlando International Airport

Patricia Greene of Winter Haven met her older half-sister, Marcie Dodd, at the Orlando International Airport Tuesday.

“I don’t want to lose her again. We’ve missed out on so much,” Dodd said through tears.

Dodd is facing serious health issues and moved to Polk County from San Francisco to be near her sister.

Their story has more twists and turns than a spy novel, full of family separations and some secrets.

Marcie Dodd as a child
Patricia Greene as a child

The sisters, who have the same father, spent their childhoods together until divorce sent the little girls on different paths.

Until about 45 years later, when Greene logged onto Ancestry.com.

She had spent years trying to find Marcie, someone with whom she shared so many early memories but had no idea how to contact.

“When my mom died and I realized that I don’t have any family left, [I thought] ‘I have to find her.’ I was devastated. I paid the $69. I spent 12 hours a day on Ancestry every day, researching, sending emails, making phone calls. I’m going to find her,” said Greene.

She found her aunt, who put her in contact with Dodd. The two reconnected by phone two years ago. Their phone calls lasted hours.

“If I have a day when she doesn’t call me. My day’s not right,” said Greene.

Dodd’s health scares led Greene to take a leap of faith: find an apartment for her and fly her out to Polk County.

Dodd arrived Thursday.

“We picked up right where we left off,” said Greene.

Dodd’s love for Greene is visible. Tears are still a common occurrence on day one of their reunion.

“I’m not letting her go anywhere again. It’s been too long. We’ve just been away from each other. We were denied a whole life,” she said.

The pair say they have lived many parallel experiences and enjoy the same music.

Now, they will have new experiences together.

Through Ancestry.com, Greene discovered there are two other half-siblings – a sister and a brother.

While they have all met separately, later this year their father’s three daughters will be in the same room for the first time.

“I felt like an alien on another planet. When I connected with her, it’s like I found that peace,” said Greene.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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