About 3 years ago I watched a special on TV about conjoined twins Jade and Erin Buckles. I saw the show again awhile back, I knew that the girls were only a year older than Ethan and as he flipped and jumped around the living room, I wondered how the girls were doing. Google to the rescue again!
I was so excited to find out that their mom had started a blog! Their dad, Kevin, is a Marine, and the girls and their big sis Taylor are bi-racial, so I felt a tiny connection with them. I spent about 5 days catching up on nearly 3 years worth of posts (am I a life-less nerd, or what?) and now check the blog regularly following the girls' progress and cheering them on as grow and blossom.
In case you actually have a life and don't have time to read all their history, here's a quick recap:
Jade and Erin were born in Feb 2004, joined from chest to stomach. They were successfully seperated in June 2004, but Erin suffered a spinal stroke during the surgery and she's paralyzed from the chest down. Just after the twins 1st b-day it was discovered that their sister Taylor (I think she was 3 at the time) had a tumor on her spine; they were able to remove most of the tumor through surgery, but it will require life-long monitoring, she will more than likely need more spinal surgeries (yes, that's plural) and she'll always suffer from effects of the tumor. In the mix of all this is Kevin's 16 y.o. son Kevin Jr.
This family is absolutely AWESOME! The joy and optimism they maintain in the face of what seems to be never-ending struggles is amazing! All the girls are healthy and thriving, attending school and doing all the things that little girls do.
The family is in the process of raising money to get Erin a service dog through paws4people. It costs upwards of $30,000 to raise and train a dog for service!!! From a military family standpoint, I can tell you, it may as well be $1,000,000! The Buckles are selling these customized car magnets for Erin to help raise money, check out the link and buy a magnet! If you'd like, there's also a link on the Buckles website for donations. If you can't manage a donation, or the $6 for a magnet, please just keep the Buckles family in your thoughts and prayers.