Valerie Spruill went to live with her grandparents when she was three months old. During her childhood she was always told that her grandparents were her mother and father, and that her actual mother was a "family friend". The truth however was that her biological mother, Christine, was a "night lady" and her biological father was Percy Spruill. Percy met Christine when he was 15 years old.
Because of her biological mother's "profession" and her father's young age, her grandparents raised her as their own child. It was not until Valerie was nine years old that she learned her father was actually her grandfather, and that a woman she had known as a "family friend" was actually her mother. She was never told that her biological father was Percy.
Several years later, Valerie and Percy met. They went on to get married and had 3 children and 8 grandchildren together.
After Percy passed away in 1998, Valerie heard rumors that he was her father. She did not know for sure until 2004, six years after Percy died. According to the Daily Mail,
an uncle told her the truth and it was confirmed with a DNA test after Valerie found Percy's hairs on a brush in their room.
Upon learning of the secret, Valerie has suffered emotional and physical distress, suffering two strokes and has been diagnosed with diabetes. She told CNN
"Pain and stress will kill, and I had to release my stress. I'm just telling the story to release my pain."
She told the Akron Beacon
"I want this to be more of an inspirational story. If I’ve come through this, anyone can come through anything through the help of the Lord.”
She went on to say she hopes to locate additional siblings she didn’t know existed.
“My biggest goal is to find them and let ’em know that [their mother] loved them, no matter what. And [to tell them], ‘Thank God she gave you away like she did me, so you could have a beautiful life.’