In June, 2017, after searching for emotional support specifically for the needs of the NPE, and failing to find anything online, a Facebook group was created by NPE Friends Fellowship's founder, Catherine St Clair. Within a week, she had over 20 members, and before their one year anniversary, the group had grown to over 1,000.
That secret group starting with 2 people now numbers over 5,000. (As of March, 2019.)
Because of the overwhelming response, a "sitting parlor" was designed for screening new members. The private Facebook group is called DNA NPE Gateway, where our administrators screen candidates before personally ushering them to our free of cost, secret community.
As Catherine realized the scope of impact on NPEs world-wide, she determined that more must be done to help. This lead to her launching NPE Friends Fellowship in June of 2018.
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Catherine St Clair
NPE Friends Fellowship was the brain-child of Catherine St Clair.
Catherine shares her home in Texas with her adopted sister, who thrives even though given a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy and is wheelchair bound, and their brother, a retired Vietnam-era disabled veteran.
With a background in Music Therapy and extensive experience with public speaking and legislation, Catherine has always had a gift for getting to the heart of a matter.
She stays active in social activities, her local church and enjoys time spent with her daughter and two grandchildren.
Catherine's NPE Story
In 2017 Catherine’s life changed forever when she discovered that one of her brothers had taken the same DNA test she had taken a few months earlier. It was then that she realized he – along with her other three siblings born to her parent’s marriage – was not her full sibling. He was only her half-sibling. Her beloved Daddy was not her biological father.
Devastated by this revelation, Catherine struggled with depression and other health issues that began to manifest themselves. She was determined to not let this consume her. But she needed answers to who she really was and what her true family history was. She spent the next month researching and talking to everyone who knew her family "back when."
After meeting another woman who was also an NPE, she discovered that having someone just like her to talk to gave her much needed emotional relief. She decided to seek out a few more people, if she could find them, to continue this homemade therapy she had created.
In June of 2017, she started a Facebook group to provide emotional support to NPEs. The community was created to provide comfort to those who feel alone in their new reality. It is important to find others who are on the same path in their own lives. Healing is offered to each other through sharing experiences, emotions, advice, celebrations and disappointments, while seeking personal inner Peace.
She set a lofty goal of finding as many as a dozen people to talk with. She categorized the group as Secret, to give the members the privacy they required. It meant that the group could not be found and new members could only come in if they were guided there by another existing member of the group. Within a week, she had over 20 members and before their one year anniversary, the group had grown to over 1,000.
Because of her NPE revelation, Catherine’s family has expanded to include two more sisters. The three sisters were united for the first time in July 2018. Catherine sees the addition of her two sisters as the silver lining in her story. She feels her life is complete adding them and their children and grandchildren to her inner circle of family.
Catherine was inspired to provide a network to bring together those who personally experienced an NPE and to allow each Fellowship members the opportunity to provide healing to their fellow members through sharing of experiences, ideas, and – most importantly – reassurance that they are not alone… that there are others, just like them, on the same path who will prop them up as they adapt to their new reality.
She modeled the cornerstone of both the secret Facebook group and the Foundation on her life experiences, combining the inspiration of teachers who taught her “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right,” and the change she adapted to in the way she and her mother communicated with each other during her mother’s final days in her battle with Leukemia.
“Our community is very similar to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a hospital and is filled with people who are constantly aware that they have two roles with us. They are both a patient in need of care and they are equally a healer, who has the responsibility to give their fellow members the healing they themselves need. We teach them to be their own best friends and to accept the compassion shown to them and maybe – along the way – they will learn to give themselves that same level of healing they are offering others.”