Monday, June 9, 2008

Dogaru Twins

Every now and then you come across a story that moves you. I mean, really truly moves you. Where you can’t stop thinking about them, they’re always on your mind. The Dogaru Twins did that to me.

I was watching Dateline MSNBC a few weeks ago. It was about conjoined twins who were successfully separated. I checked online for a follow up to the story and came across another set of conjoined twins in the search result.

The Dogaru Twins are 4 years old now and are joined at the head. Dad’s a Byzantine Catholic Priest and mom’s a nurse. They also have an older 6 year old sister. Maybe because the twins have never looked at one another in the eye or maybe they can’t be separated or maybe because there hasn’t been an update since last year, I haven’t stopped thinking about them since I found out about them last week. Instead, I searched all weekend for articles and updates. I’ve found more info about them, such as their condition occurs once out of 2.5 million and that only 10% of cases such as theirs live to 10 years of age.

It’s heartbreaking and I’ve thought about them and prayed for them. I just don’t understand why babies and little children have to suffer. They’re so beautiful and innocent, it tears me apart. And of course, I think of my own babies and how much they're able to do that the Dogaru girls cannot. Every day I'm thankful for L&B and after learning of the Anna & Tati, I'm even more grateful.

This morning I called the Childrens Hospital (that was going to do the surgery) for an update and there is none. They’re not checked in the hospital and they don’t even know if they’re still in the states OR if they’re still alive.

I poured all my energy this morning into finding how the twins are doing. I found articles written a year ago and contacted the writer (she no longer works for the newspaper, so then I had to do a little research on her!). Fortunately she emailed me back immediately and gave me a couple of leads. Out of the three, two fell through but I hit jackpot with the last. She suggested I contact the World Craniofacial Foundation. They helped the Dogarus and have kept in touch with them. When I called and asked for an update, the operator put me through Sue, the VP of the organization, who’s close to the family. Although she wasn’t at liberty to discuss their medical case with me, she did tell me the girls are still here in the U.S. and happy. I noticed she didn’t say ‘healthy’, but they’re happy. They’re four years old and just graduated preschool. They recently received a customized bike as a gift and are real girly-girls.

Sue relayed the cutest story to me. She visited the family recently. Anastasia, the larger twin in front, was playing happily with a doll house. Their mother, Claudia, gave a smaller house for Tatiana to play with. Anatasia got so engrossed, at one point she looked up and asked, ‘Where’s Tati?’ Tatiana replied, ‘I’m right here.’ Oh my gosh, Anastasia genuinely forgot they were attached! They both laughed over it. They’re happy for the time being, but as they get older everything is going to get more difficult for them.

Sue did give me some hopeful news, there’s a possibility of a surgery to separate them, giving them a chance at a longer life. Coincidentally she’s working on an update on the girls for the website. Hopefully it’ll be up sometime this week.

In the meantime, I’ve made a donation to the WCF and am putting together a care package for the girls. They don’t know who I am, but they’ve moved me so much I just want to send them a little something to let them know how much they mean to me.

I’m comforted to know they’re happy. I just pray for a miracle for them.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Baby Eggi

I read an article in the LA Times recently about a clothing line called Baby Eggi. Of course with a name like that, I had to mention it on our blog! Sounds cool, having a tat artist create for kids clothes. Those will be some truly hip babes! And best of all, a portion (20%) of the sales go to charity.