NUUANU, Hawaii — Maybe you’ve seen the commercials, or even come across it online.
Commercial DNA testing kits that you can do at home, like “My Heritage”, Ancestry DNA or 23 and Me.
These “do-it-yourself” genealogical tests are quickly growing in popularity. For a Nu’uanu family, their kit revealed a big surprise.
Walter MacFarlane is a three sport athlete out of Punahou from 1962, inducted into the Buffanblu Hall of Champions, but there’s more, he has a new brother and it’s one of his best friends his whole life.
Through a DNA kit his children bought him for his birthday, Walter’s half-brother was discovered. It was a guy who’s been right by his side for about 60-years.
Walter and Alan Robinson, or “Robby” as he’s known, have been best friends since they were 6th graders at Punahou School.
Robby though, nearly a year and a half younger in age.
“It was so funny because you know when we played for Punahou, we were both first string and we’re brothers, playing side by side. He’s the tackle, I’m the end and we never knew you know,” Walter said.
Imagine finding out your best friend just about all your life, is actually your sibling.
After years of sharing the same interests, finishing each others sentences, even having people tell them they look alike, Walter and Robby claim they had no idea.
“Did it ever cross your mind?” Robby asked.
“You know honest to god, it never did cross my mind,” Walter said.
“Never crossed my mind either, that’s what really amazing, we go 60 years,” Robby said.
“But you know, yeah yeah, but there was times when I did think, I look like Robby a little bit,” Walter said.
There’s a saying — “Because I have a brother, I will always have a friend.”
For Walter and Robby, that quote held true long before a DNA test linked the two together.
“This guy was, he was like an older brother all along, you know we’d go to Punaluu go skin-diving, I’d be making noise in the water splashing around, he’d be teaching me how to do it right. He’d always come out of the water with the biggest string of fish and I had the smallest,” Robby said.
“As it should be, you’re my younger brother,” Walter said.
“I defer to your wisdom and experience my older brother. Softball we played together, we golf about the same,” Robby said.
This weekend, Walter and Robby shared the news of their new found brotherhood with the rest of the MacFarlane family.
“I’ve never gotten a Christmas present this good,” Robby said.