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Darline 60

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Published on May 20, 2014

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham today released new television and radio ads featuring his younger sister, Darline, talking about the role Lindsey played in her childhood and how they overcame difficult times together.

Lindsey and Darline Graham grew up in the small Upstate town of Central where their family owned a restaurant and pool hall. Because their parents had to work -- even when they were sick -- in order to provide for the family, Lindsey played an instrumental role in helping raise his younger sister Darline.

When he was in college at the University of South Carolina, both of Lindsey's parents died within 15 months of each other. Darline was 13 years old at the time. Lindsey arranged for Darline to move in with an aunt and uncle in Seneca, and he came home from school every weekend to help care for her. Before joining the U.S. Air Force, Lindsey became the legal guardian of Darline in order to provide insurance and benefits for her.

"I have always looked up to Lindsey," said Darline Graham Nordone, now married with two children in Lexington, South Carolina. "He's just always been there for me as long as I can remember. My parents, since they had to work a lot, Lindsey was kind of the one there that took care of me. If I fell down and scraped my knee, Lindsey was the one I ran to."

Darline described the difficulty of losing both parents at a young age and how she leaned even more heavily on Lindsey: "It was hard when we lost my mom and my dad. Lindsey assured me that he was going to take care of me, he was going to be there for me. He never let me down. Never. I don't see how he did it, to take on the responsibility of raising a little sister. That came from within for Lindsey."

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