"You Can Only Make a First Impression Once. We Make it Twice"!
Debbie Ganz c/o Twins Talent | PO Box 1253 New York, NY 10028 | 1-800 RU TWINS (788-9467) | (212) 289-1777 | twins@twinsworld.com or Billywonka@aol.com

Hot News!!! Click on News Article Titles for Details.
Alec Baldwin and the Pepi Twins The Sprouse Twins and the Ganz Twins
Kyle and Ryan Pepi (left) with Alec Baldwin on the set of "Outside Providence".

Cole Sprouse (above, left) and Dylan Sprouse (above, right) with the Ganz Twins during the filming of "Big Daddy" (12/98). Our close friends Larry & Gary Lane on the set of the movie "Patriot" with Mel Gibson.

Larry and Gary are doing an impromptu spoof of a doublemint commercial!

Did you know " Andy Garcia, the actor who has starred in movies such as The Godfather, Part 3 (1994) and Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995), was born with his twin attached to his shoulder in Cuba in 1956. The twin was no bigger than a tennis ball and was removed by surgeons minutes after birth."

(Click on News Article Title for Details)

Hardest Part Of Kane & Abel's Sentences May Be Separation

Guinness confirms that Alexandria twins born as world's smallest pair

Siamese twins' separation broadcast

Ohio Woman Arrested After Twins Found Weighing Only 12 Pounds

Bereaved mother, 55, gives birth to twins

Prince and Princess twins Separated

Delhi 's conjoined twins happy and healthy

Twins abandoned in hospital bathroom

Infant Girl Dies After Surgery to Remove Second Head

Mum of nine still wants twins

TWINS Plead Guilty to Cold Pill Smuggling

Doctors cleared in deaths of twins

Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated

Jury Returns Verdict In Blackthorne Tax Fraud Trial

Sextuplets Breathing On Own

The Triplets Amazing Journey  

Four for Tech: Morrilton quads agree on where to attend college

Sextuplets enter world

Georgia Reproductive Specialists

Twins and Triplets - A Thing of the Past?

Sextuplets born in Jan. at 24 and 25 weeks remain in hospital

Premature Twins Become Fund-raiser ‘Spokesmen'

Male triplets at higher risk for preterm birth

Triplets being considered for television show

Mother of Triplets Invents Baby Breathing Aid

Triplets, quadruplets meet for special 2nd birthday party

Egyptian Twins Fitted with Helmuts


Twins' identical cells aid medical procedure

Twins guilty of burglary

Waugh twins play to the end

Double the choices for twins attending college

Craven twins suspended one game each
Bob and Mike Bryan on "Eight Simple Rules..."
Abusive Mother of Twins
Burned Twins Battle For Life in Wake of Explosion
Twins, Triplets and Quads Born New Years Day
Twins Reunite after 20 Years
2003 New Year's Baby Race
Both Twins Shot in Gunfire - New Years
Twin Set Born: one in '02, other in '03
Twins Said More Identical Than Clones
Separate Iranian Sisters Joined at the Head For 28 Years
Nigeria Doctors Separate Siamese Twins
Mother of Twins Convicted of Running Over Husband
Triplets Fooled Russia's Prison System
Twins Similarities Lead to Joint Research
Aboard the USS Constellation
Two Mothers Deal with Twins While Husbands Deployed In Iraq
Twin Brothers Are Proud To Be Serving In Iraq
Sisters In Arms
Tampa Marine, Twin - Killed in Kuwait
In Touch with WI Marines
Triplets Called to Active Duty
David Bloom - 39, NBC Reporter, daddy of twins dies in Iraq
Deadly Accident in India

Click here to find out more information on twins you may have seen on TV or in films!

Hardest Part Of Kane & Abel's Sentences May Be Separation

10.05.2001 8:18 PM EDT
Kane & Abel
Photo: Most Wanted Records
Kane & Abel have been together ever since the womb, but next week that will change.
The identical twin rappers will report to separate federal prisons in
Texas on Wednesday to begin serving three-year sentences in a cocaine case.
"We've never been apart, ever," Abel said Friday (October 5). "We've just gotta hold out and stay strong."
Though the brothers are appealing the sentence, they say they're thankful it isn't worse — they had faced life imprisonment if convicted of the initial drug conspiracy charges. Born David and Daniel Garcia, the rappers each received a three-year sentence after their attorney struck a deal with prosecutors in which they admitted to lying to federal agents about the activities of jailed drug kingpin Richard Pena (see "Kane & Abel Sentenced To Three Years In Cocaine Case" ).
"They're not taking us out in a courtyard and shooting us," Kane said. "We're not dying. We're going to jail. We're going to be incarcerated for a short period of time. ... As far as [our] family, you just let 'em know that this is temporary and this is a blessing. I don't think you can count how many people are locked up for life for the charges we were facing."
The day before they are scheduled to surrender, Kane & Abel will release their fifth album, Most Wanted Boys. The LP features Juvenile on the track "Say That Then" and Snoop Dogg on "Down South" in addition to a host of obscure acts from the twins' Most Wanted Records label, including 5th Ward Weebie and Box & Royale.
"Being able to let that creative energy go was good for us," Kane said. "We were always optimistic, we never were thinking, 'Let's put it down because we're about to go away for life.' We were thinking, 'Lets do what we always do — make good music for the fans.' "
In the weeks since they were sentenced, Kane & Abel have kept busy promoting the album, shooting a video with Juvenile for the fellow
New Orleans rapper's new single and adding to a massive vault of unreleased tracks. "We've been preparing for this for two years," Kane said. "We have about 60 to 65 songs."
T he pair are pulling material from that collection for an album titled The Last Ones Left, to be released in February along with a novel of the same name. The book traces the life of a
Houston heroin dealer who becomes the first person publicly executed in modern times, with CNN broadcasting the event. Kane & Abel released their first novel, "Eyes of a Killer/Behind Enemy Lines," in 1999.
The brothers will say goodbye to their friends at a party in
New Orleans on Sunday night and plan to spend Monday and Tuesday with their family.


Guinness confirms that Alexandria twins born as world's smallest pair

March 22, 2004

The Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA (AP) — Twin 4-year-olds Chloe and Courtney Smith are Guinness World Record holders: They are the tiniest surviving set of twins.
Cloe and Courtney weighed a combined 24.5 ounces at birth, well below the previous record of 30.33 ounces. Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital received an e-mail last week from Guinness confirming the record, hospital spokesman Jimmy Touchet said.
“They not only broke the record, they shattered the record,” Touchet said.
The twins were delivered months early by Caesarean section at Rapides Women's and Children's Hospital, then taken immediately to Cabrini's intensive care unit for newborns.
At first, doctors didn't have much hope. Chloe weighed 12.5 ounces. Courtney weighed 12 ounces. Each infant was about as tall as a fountain pen, said Theresa Slater, Cabrini's Children's Miracle Network director.
“We were told not to expect them to live,” said Carmen Smith of
Alexandria , the girls' mother. “After about a week and a half, they told us all the things we could expect to go wrong — and as weeks went by, none of that happened. We were very thankful. Our prayers were answered.”
Today, the girls go to special prekindergarten classes. They weigh 24 pounds each and receive some physical and occupational therapy, but they have no developmental delays and no physical disabilities.
Said Smith: “That's still very tiny for a 4-year-old, but they're getting taller.”

Siamese twins' separation broadcast

Saudi doctors have successfully separated Filipina Siamese twins Mae and Ann, aged just four months, in a 14-hour operation broadcast live on television and the Internet from a Riyadh hospital.

"The operation... was crowned with success," said surgeon Abdullah al-Rabiah.

Dr Al-Rabiah headed the 50-strong team, which worked into Saturday night at the King Abdul Aziz medical city.

The baby sisters were born on November 12, 2003 , in the Philippines .

The official Saudi Press Agency reports the pair are in good health and in a stable condition.

"It is their only chance, and a rare one, (for) a normal life," said their mother Marina Mazo.

The operation was paid for by Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abul Aziz.

The twins were joined at the abdomen, the pelvis and the perineum.

"Each of the twins has complete sexual organs and they can live a normal life," said senior urologist Ahmad Al-Shammari.

The operation is the eighth separation surgery in Saudi Arabia , al-Rabiah said.

-- AFP

Ohio Woman Arrested After Twins Found Weighing Only 12 Pounds

Deputies Say Twins Are Severely Malnourished

UPDATED: 9:31 AM EST March 21, 2004

BENTON , La. -- A woman who left Ohio six weeks ago was arrested in Louisiana Saturday after sheriff's deputies found her 10-month-old twins severely malnourished.

The twins, Adian and Alexis, were found in Megan Zufall's house in Plain Dealing, La. , after authorities received an anonymous tip.

One investigator says the boy and girl weighed about 12 pounds and are too weak to suck on bottles.


The babies are being treated at LSU Hospital . They will be in the custody of the state when they are released.

Zufall is in jail on a $60,000 bond.

She had moved to the town in Louisiana 's northwest corner about six weeks ago. Her husband is in Ohio with his children by another woman.

Child welfare workers say they're checking on the condition of the children in Ohio .

Bereaved mother, 55, gives birth to twins

By Itim News Service

A 55-year-old resident of Karmiel in the north of the country gave birth to twins at the Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed on Sunday. The mother and twins are said to be doing well.

The woman lost her eldest son in a terror attack on an IDF roadblock in the West Bank two years ago. Her husband and she decided that they wanted another child following their loss and the woman underwent fertility treatment.
The woman, a nurse by profession, had a relatively good pregnancy and carried the twins through to full term. The twins, a boy weighing 3 kilograms and a girl weighing 2.3 kilograms, were born by Caesarian section early Sunday morning.
The head of the maternity ward said that the woman was doing well and despite her relatively advanced age, was not experiencing any unique problems.


Prince and Princess twins Separated

RIYADH , 23 March 2004 — Acting Philippine Ambassador Mariano A. Dumia presented on Monday a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeea, who headed the Saudi medical team which separated conjoined Filipino twins Princess Ann and Princess May last Saturday.

“On behalf of the Philippine Embassy, the Filipinos in the Kingdom as well as the Filipino nation as a whole, I am presenting you with this certificate of appreciation in recognition of your efforts for the successful operation separating” the twins, Dumia told Dr. Al-Rabeea.

Earlier, Dumia also thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the National Guard, for covering the cost of operation.

Al-Rabeea said that he and his medical team did what they could and he was delighted the operation had been brought to a successful conclusion.

The twins are now resting and in stable condition, he added.

Delhi 's conjoined twins happy and healthy

Far away from the madding crowd the New Delhi-born conjoined twins are safe and growing healthier each day in a complex of All India Pingalwara Charitable Society here, eight km from Amritsar .

The conjoined male twins were born on June 13 last year at the Sucheta Kripalani Hospital in New Delhi but within a few hours were shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences as they developed complications.

Said president of the society, Inderjit Kaur, “We brought them over on August 15 in a special ambulance. We decided to keep them in our complex here far away from Amritsar in order to avoid crowds, which might be curious to see them."

“Ever since their arrival they are doing fine. They are responding and growing healthier with each passing day.”
View Gallery: Iranian Conjoined Twins

The conjoined twins, Neelu and Pinku, have been renamed Sona and Mona at this society.

“In Punjabi,” said Kaur, “Sona as well as Mona means pretty and attractive. They have such beautiful eyes and look so cute when they smile. So, we renamed them.”

The society, founded by Bhagat Puran Singh, houses and looks after the poor and destitute including mentally challenged persons. It is also registered at Ontario in Canada and receives donations from persons staying in 80 countries around the world. ##Ad##

Kaur, a physician by profession and connected with the society for more than three decades, said, “We decided to adopt the twins after reading newspaper reports their parents were not in a position to bring them up because they would need special care.”

The parents, Sujeet Kumar and Kamini, gave a written undertaking to the AIIMS in Hindi stating, “We want to handover these Siamese twins without any claim. We will request you to give them to some society where they will be better looked after. We already have three daughters and do menial labour to earn a living and are not in a position to provide the care needed for them.”

Kaur said the society would permit the parents to visit them once a year and bear the expenses for their travel and stay on the society premises.

She said, “Once we decided to bring the twins here, we built a special room fitted with an air-conditioner and an adjoining room for nurses who would look after them round the clock”

The twins stay in a 12 by 12 feet room, which has two beds and a door with a glass window. There is an oxygen cylinder and emergency medicines in the room.

No one is allowed to enter the room except the nurses. Even when Kaur spoke to the nurses when they opened the door she put on a mask.

The room also has a perambulator, a small rocking bed and is stocked with toys.

Like any other baby of this age they have developed normal sensory perceptions.

They smile and look at a baby rattle as a nurse shakes it in front of them.

The twins have separate heads, chests, hearts, stomachs, lungs and spinal chords. But they share one pair of kidney, a liver, bladder, intestines and genitalia. They have four arms and two legs, and each leg gets nervous signals from different brains.

Kaur said, “I believe, in time their spine will be able to support their weight enabling them to walk. But they will definitely need some support measure like crutches. We have to psychologically prepare them before we admit them to Bhagat Puran Singh Adarsh School here.”



Twins abandoned in hospital bathroom
John Tavares
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Spauldings, Manchester - The Spauldings Police are now trying to locate a woman who abandoned her twin babies on the bathroom floor of the female medical ward of the Percy Junior Hospital in Manchester over the weekend. Chief executive officer of the institution, Stanhope Scott, said that at about 12:50 pm on Saturday, a patient - who had gone to use a bathroom on the ward - stumbled upon the twin girls, wrapped in a baby blanket on the bathroom floor.The patient then raised an alarm, alerting hospital personnel.
According to Scott, preliminary investigations have revealed that the twins were not born at the institution. He theorised that the mother could have sneaked the babies onto the compound, unnoticed, during the course of the day and later placed them in the rest room. The babies are in good health and are now being housed at the maternity ward, the hospital official added.Efforts are now being made to contact the Ministry of Health's Manchester Children Services Department.
The investigating officer, who refused to give additional information about the case, confirmed that the police are now actively pursuing all possible angles to locate the twins' biological mother.

Infant Girl Dies After Surgery to Remove Second Head

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (Feb. 7) - An infant girl born with a second head bled to death Saturday after complex surgery to remove her partially formed twin, her parents and doctors said.
A medical team completed the 11-hour operation Friday night and said 8-week-old Rebeca Martinez died seven hours later. Doctors had warned after the surgery that the girl would be at great risk of infection or hemorrhaging.
''We knew this was a very risky surgery, and now we accept what God has decided,'' Rebeca's father, 29-year-old Franklin Martinez, said at a news conference with his wife. ''Rebeca is no longer with us physically, but no one will forget her.''
Martinez said the family would bury Rebeca in a private funeral later in the day.
The girl lost a lot of blood in the operation, which apparently caused her to suffer a heart attack, said Dr. Jorge Lazareff, the lead surgeon. Friends and family donated almost 4 gallons of blood for surgeons to use during Rebeca's operation.
''This was not a failure or an error,'' Lazareff said. ''When we left here last night at midnight the girl was in stable condition. At some point in the middle of the night, she started to bleed.''
Rebeca was born Dec. 10 with the undeveloped head of her twin, an extremely rare condition known as craniopagus parasiticus.
Fully developed twins born conjoined at the head are extremely rare, accounting for one of every 2.5 million births, but parasitic twins, where one twin stops developing in the womb, are even rarer. Rebecca was the eighth documented case in the world of craniopagus parasiticus, doctors said.All the other infants documented to have had the condition died before birth, making Rebeca's surgery the first known operation of its kind.Without an operation, Rebeca would have barely been able to lift her head at 3 months old. Her doctors said the pressure from the second head, attached on top of the first and facing up, would have prevented her brain from developing.
A medical team completed the operation Friday evening but said the infant had been susceptible to infection or hemorrhaging.
''She was too little to withstand the surgery,'' said her mother, 26-year-old Maria Gisela Hiciano, sobbing softly. She said doctors told her Rebeca died about 6 a.m.
Martinez said doctors told them about 3 a.m. that Rebeca suffered a minor heart attack due to the bleeding, but they believed they could stabilize her. Rebeca then had more heart attacks at 5 a.m. and died shortly after 6 a.m., he said.
Doctors said Rebeca had several blood transfusions, which complicated normal clotting. They also said her heart was accustomed to beating faster to pump out more blood for the second head.
''In that case, you can't do anything. This is the worst complication that can happen in this kind of surgery,'' said Dr. Benjamin Rivera, one of Rebeca's surgeons.
Doctors will learn more in the coming months as they review Rebeca's operation, said Lazareff, who is director of pediatric neurosurgery at the University of California at Los Angeles' Mattel Children's Hospital. In 2002, he led a team that successfully separated conjoined Guatemalan twin girls.
During Friday's surgery, 18 surgeons, nurses and doctors worked in rotations to cut off the undeveloped tissue, clip the veins and arteries, and close the skull using a bone and skin graft from the second head.
''We feel like we've lost a family member,'' said Dr. Santiago Hazim, medical director of Santo Domingo's Center for Orthopedic Specialties, where the surgery was performed.
The Center for Orthopedic Specialties is among the country's top hospitals, and the medical team from UCLA visited two weeks before the surgery to make sure they had everything they needed.CURE International, a Lemoyne, Penn.-based charity, paid $100,000 for the surgery. The group funds the center and gives medical care to disabled children in developing countries.''We always saw Rebeca without the extra part of her body,'' her father said after her death.
''We aren't going to have any more children,'' she said. ''Not because of what happened to Rebeca, but for economic reasons.''
''We want to bury Rebeca as soon as possible so she can rest,'' her father said.

02-07-04 2102EST

Quadruplets offer challenges

By Lisa Snedeker
Staff writer
Mum of nine still wants twins
A mother says she has her heart set on having twins - even though she's already got nine children and another on the way.
Helen Ogiliev, 41, of Denton, Manchester, who's five months pregnant, says she's determined to keep trying until she has twins.
Mrs Ogiliev, whose children are aged between one and 21 years old, told the Daily Mail that she's always been fascinated by twins.
"I can't believe that after so many pregnancies I haven't had twins. I was disappointed when I had my latest scan and found I was only carrying one baby," she said.
Husband Stuart, 44, a caterer, says he's come to terms with her ambition: "Every time we have another one, she promises me it will be our last," he said.

TWINS Plead Guilty to Cold Pill Smuggling
WBBM - Chicago,IL,USA
(Chicago-AP) -- Twin brothers are facing as much as 12 years in prison
for smuggling millions of cold tablets into the country that were later
used to ...
lDoctors were not criminally responsible for the deaths of conjoined Iranian
twins Ladan ...

AFP[ SUNDAY, MARCH 07, 2004 05:07:45 AM ]
SINGAPORE : A Singapore inquest on Saturday cleared an international team of doctors of any responsibility for the deaths of Iranian twins joined at the head who died during surgery last year.
Coroner Malcolm Tan said doctors led by Singapore neurosurgeon Keith Goh fully informed the twins about the risks, carried out extensive preparation and considered all ethical and religious concerns ahead of the surgery in July.

Twin sisters Ladan and Laleh Bijanidied within 90 minutes of each other after the 52-hour surgery.

Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated

, March 4 (Xinhuanet) -- The conjoined twin girls who were separated by Chinese doctors in mid-February left hospital Thursday upon good rehabilitation in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, doctors said. "All body indices of the separated Siamese twins are pointing to normal levels after the successful operation," said Li Yanmin, a pediatrician with the No. 1 Hospital attached to Hebei Medical University, where the separation operation was done. The girls, Bao Bao and Bei Bei, were born joined at the chest and abdomen on Jan. 2. The livers, ribs and midriffs of the two infants were almost linked. Their parents are peasants from the province's Handan City. "They are gaining weight as Bao Bao, the older of the two, now weighs 4.35 kg while Bei Bei is 3.9 kg, compared to their total body weight of 7.45 kg before the operation," Li said. The separated sisters were escorted back home by cardiac and pediatric nurses sent by the hospital.Doctors said the twins would still be on high alert against colds, rickets and anemia, which are common among twin children and the hospital would carry out medical examination for the twinsevery two months. However, the well-being of Bei Bei, the younger of the two, whowas diagnosed with a genetic heart condition, remained a concern. Doctors said they would perform another operation to correct the disease free of charge after Bei Bei got stronger. It was the third such operation on Siamese twins who were born joined at the chest and abdomen in China. Twenty-seven sets of Siamese twins have been reported in China since 1949, 15 pairs of whom have undergone separation operations.Enditem

Jury Returns Verdict In Blackthorne Tax Fraud Trial
Jurors Find Blackthorne Guilty On 1 Count

POSTED: 3:32 pm CST March 5, 2004
SAN ANTONIO -- A federal jury found the wife of quad-mom killer Allen Blackthorne guilty Friday of tax fraud.
Jurors found Maureen Blackthorne guilty on one of four counts following more than two days of deliberations.
She could face up to three years in prison when she is sentenced June 11.
A judge ordered a lien placed on Blackthorne's home and she will be held in federal custody on $1 million bond.
The count Blackthorne was found guilty of involved her 1999 tax return, the first return filed after her husband began serving two life sentences for the murder of his ex-wife Sheila Bellush, who gave birth to quadruplets following their divorce.
Allen Blackthorne, who was allowed to testify at his wife's trial, said he was in charge of the couple's finances and money they earned in stock sales shouldn't have been taxed since the stocks were sold at a loss.
Copyright 2004 by KSAT.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sextuplets Breathing On Own

Parents Provide Kangaroo Care

POSTED: 2:03 pm EST March 4, 2004
AKRON, Ohio -- Just a week after being born, the sextuplets, Isabella, Kyle, Logan, Alex, Lucy and Sophia are breathing on their own. Four of the Hanselman children were weaned from a CPAP machine. CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, delivers air pressure through a nasal tube to ensure the lungs' air sacs remain open while they're breathing.
"We're encouraged that all six Hanselman babies are breathing without assistance," said Dr. Anand Kantak, medical director of Akron Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. "Because the lungs of premature babies are too immature to allow them to breathe on their own, they often require respiratory assistance. But the sooner we can wean them from any type of assistance, the better." However, Kantak cautioned that it isn't unusual for premature babies like the sextuplets to require CPAP several times throughout their stay in the NICU. Even though the sextuplets are in critical condition, four of the six are stable enough to benefit from kangaroo care, skin-to-skin contact to promote parent/infant bonding. Both Keith and Jennifer provided kangaroo care Wednesday to Logan, Isabella, Kyle and Alex. The first of the sibling rivalry could be seen between Lucy and Isabella when they received kangaroo care from mom, Jennifer. "Isabella was trying to kick Lucy," Jennifer said. "Kyle and Logan seemed to be checking each other out while they were perched on Keith's chest. It is such a neat experience. Their bodies are so warm. And when you talk to them, they seem to definitely recognize our voices."

The Triplets Amazing Journey  

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     The 27th of this month, marks 10 years since the "Palm Sunday Tornadoes."  Tornados touched down in a dozen north Alabama towns.  Lives were lost and hundreds of homes wiped out.
     Regina Webb was one of the gravely injured that day when a tornado hit her house in DeKalb County.   If she and her husband experienced the 'worst' that life can bring that day, this week they experienced the 'best.'
  Regina and Randy Webb had been married just a year that Sunday. Randy headed off to church, and Regina went to bed after a night shift at the hospital.  Randy was trying to get home through the debris.  WAAY-31 visited Regina six months later.  She was learning to live life as a paraplegic.
Boy was she right!  Or girl.  They hadn't ever planned to have children.  But, other babies in the family made Regina change her mind and fertility drugs worked in just 2 months.
     And that same day, news came that Randy's plant was shutting down.  The babies due date?  March 21st?  10 years to the week since the Palm Sunday tornado that paralyzed her.
     But the triplets came early, in January, weighing from two and a half pounds to just one pound, eleven ounces.
     They had to stay at UAB until strong enough to come home.
     Emily Grace was the first one to come home to Fyffe, then her sister Alyssa Jean, and finally Saturday, Lauren Olivia.
     The plant closing means Randy can stay home with the triplets, which he loves, and Regina can go back to work at the hospital.  And they move on, doing everything that other new parents do... almost everything.
     Friends have set up a fund to get Regina a newer handicap van.

Four for Tech: Morrilton quads agree on where to attend college

By Tommy Mumert
Tech news bureau

Allison, Erica, Lindsey and Whitney Horn, quadruplets who are seniors at Morrilton High School, do not agree on everything.
It was a bit of a surprise, then, when the four girls compared notes and found that they were in complete agreement on their choice of a university to attend this fall.
When classes begin this fall, all four will be freshmen at Arkansas Tech University.
As recently as earlier this semester, however, the Horns were evenly split. Two had decided to attend Tech, but it wasn't until campus visits that the vote became unanimous.
“Coming to Time Out for Tech last month really helped,” Allison recalled. “When I attended that, everyone was just so friendly and helpful. I just liked the whole environment better here.”
Plus, Allison had talked with older friends who are attending Tech “and they all have said what a good school Tech is and how much they like it.”
Lindsey said the size of the university was a determining factor in her decision.
“It's not too small, but it's not too big, either,” she said. “And all the people here have always been so friendly.”
Erica and Whitney agreed that the have always found Tech a friendly campus, and agreed that the university's size was a good fit for them.
Allison intends on pursuing predentistry at Tech. Lindsey plans to pursue elementary education. Erica and Whitney are both undecided about their academic majors.
One thing the quadruplets have decided on, however, is their plan to live apart when they come to campus.
“We've been together enough,” Allison said.
“We just want to get out and meet some new people,” Lindsey said.
They have also decided to choose their class schedules independently, as well, and if they have any classes together it will be a matter of chance, rather than choice.
The quadruplets and their parents, Ronnie and Sandy Horn, were the guests at a luncheon in their honor Wednesday on the Tech campus. At that time, the four students were presented Presidential Scholarships by Dr. Robert C. Brown, Tech president, and Shauna Donnell, director of enrollment management.
Copyright © 2004, Russellville Newspapers,

The Triplets Amazing Journey

Sextuplets enter world

Group of 6 Ohio's first; 28 ½-week gestation has doctors optimistic for all

By Tracy Wheeler

Beacon Journal medical writer

Isabella Jean was the first.

But not by much.

In less than a minute -- at 9:42 Thursday morning, to be exact -- all five of her siblings had entered the world, too, as Jennifer Hanselman gave birth at Akron General Medical Center to Ohio's first set of sextuplets.

The three boys and three girls, ranging in weight from 1 pound, 9 ounces to 2 pounds, 10 ounces, were in relatively good health, doctors said, and showed no signs of major complications or handicaps.

``When we started taking the babies out, they just kept coming one after another,'' said Dr. Justin Lavin, Akron General's chief of maternal fetal medicine. ``... It was a pretty exciting experience.''

Exciting, maybe, but not excitable.

The delivery process had been planned weeks in advance. Equipment -- tubes, vials, respirators, even the caps each baby would wear -- was color-coded blue, yellow, green, pink, red and black to match each baby with the team of specialists watching over him or her.

Nearly three dozen health professionals -- perinatologists, neonatologists, anesthesiologists, obstetricians and gynecologists, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, radiology = [100.0]technicians and 14 registered nurses (two for the mom and two for each baby) -- were on call, ready to staff the delivery room when the sextuplets decided to arrive.

And about 8 a.m. Thursday, after 28 ½ weeks in their mother's womb, they decided.

``I had just finished a meeting,'' Lavin said, ``when I walked out and one of the residents came up and told me Mrs. Hanselman really started breaking through. At that point, I knew we needed to do'' the Caesarean section.

In the delivery room and the adjacent ``resuscitation rooms,'' where the babies were to be placed on respirators and stabilized, nurse Cathy Lutz described the mood as one of ``anxious anticipation.''

And that's how Lavin wanted it to stay. ``The first thing I said was, `Let's keep everything calm here, guys, and do things just like we always do.' ''

Delicate delivery dance

When Lavin delivered Isabella -- at 2 pounds, 10 ounces -- he turned and handed her off to a waiting nurse, who took her to her own isolette in an adjoining room. As soon as Lavin had turned to hand off Isabella, his partner, Dr. Stephen Crane, stepped in to retrieve Sophia Ivy -- 1 pound, 9 ounces -- and pass her on to another nurse.

In quick succession, Lavin and Crane continued this delicate dance as Kyle Allen came next at 2 pounds, 6 ounces; then Logan James, 2 pounds, 8 ounces; then Alex Edwin, 2 pounds, 8 ounces; and finally Lucy Arlene, 2 pounds, 1 ounce.

In the two rooms next to the delivery room, the babies were placed in individual isolettes with built-in warmers. They were put on respirators to help their immature lungs breathe. They were hooked to heart monitors, and their blood was drawn for testing.

Through it all, though, the room was quiet, except for the shuffling of paper footies on the linoleum floor and the quiet wish of ``Happy birthday, baby'' from one nurse. There was no crying by the babies, no raised voices from the doctors, nurses or medical technicians.

Though all six babies arrived within one minute, ``it seemed like an eternity,'' Lavin said. ``But it sure was going fast.''

The rapid-fire births were ``pretty overwhelming,'' said father Keith Hanselman. ``It was like a popcorn popper.''

Typically in higher-order multiple births -- quadruplets, quintuplets, sextuplets, septuplets -- the babies are born at a pace of about two per minute. But that wasn't the case this time.

``We were trying to get them out fast,'' Lavin said, ``because one of the complications is the woman can hemorrhage to death from this.''

Jennifer Hanselman, who had been hospitalized at Akron General since Jan. 19, was in good health after the delivery.

Home is 2 months away

``Jen and I are pretty ecstatic,'' Keith Hanselman said. ``... We're really excited to have all six come home.''

That probably won't happen for at least two months, though, said Dr. Anand Kantak, medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Akron Children's Hospital.

Babies born 12 weeks early, as the Hanselman sextuplets were, are likely to need about nine weeks of hospitalization.

``But you can subtract a week if they're doing very well,'' Kantak said. Or, ``add one or two weeks if there are complicating events.''

Doctors optimistic about all six

The babies were listed in critical condition Thursday in Akron Children's NICU -- something that isn't unusual for a baby born 12 weeks prematurely.

``We are very, very optimistic about their outlook,'' Kantak said. ``We're very optimistic about their survival. We're very optimistic about their survival without major handicaps at this stage.

``Of course, you must know, given this early birth, there is always some chance of not surviving at all. A handicap or conditions can occur,'' he said. ``But my job is to tell you that nothing has happened so far in the short course of their lives that predicts any higher risk of those types of events happening.''

The Hanselmans used fertility drugs for this pregnancy, just as they did three years ago, before they had son Connor, who is 2. This time, though, the medication led to the fertilization of six eggs.

Their fertility specialist, Akron Dr. Nicholas Spirtos, urged them to terminate four of the embryos to improve the survival odds of the other two, and to protect Jennifer Hanselman's health.

Multiple births can lead to serious complications in the babies, such as cerebral palsy, deformities caused by crowding in the womb, infection, jaundice, anemia and malformations of the heart, lungs or brain.

In a January interview, Jennifer Hanselman said she and her husband ``talked and prayed about it,'' eventually deciding that ``we don't want to second-guess God's blessings.''

28 weeks was magic number

All along, doctors saw 28 as the magic number for Hanselman and her babies. If she could get to her 28th week of pregnancy, each baby would have a 90 percent chance of survival, compared with a 50 percent chance at 25 weeks. (The longest known gestation for sextuplets is 31 weeks.)

After five weeks of bed rest at Akron General, Hanselman made it to 28 ½ weeks before going into labor.

``We're really glad,'' Keith Hanselman said. ``We have made our goal. We really wanted to shoot for 28 weeks because we knew how important it was for the babies to make it that far.''

At this point, the family's focus is on the health of mom and the babies. But a delivery requiring 34 health professionals and an anticipated nine-week stay in the hospital will cost some money.

When asked what the bill will be, Akron General spokesman Joe Jerek said it was too soon to say.

Then Jerek smiled.

``A birth like this really is priceless,'' he said.

Georgia Reproductive Specialists

Twins and Triplets - A Thing of the Past?
Monday February 16, 3:54 pm ET
Recently released CDC statistics show high success rates and low risk of multiple births with infertility treatment at Atlanta clinic

ATLANTA, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its annual report summarizing success rates for 384 fertility clinics across the United States. The most recent report, released in December 2003, details the results of the more than 80,000 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles performed in 2001. The purpose of the information is to offer valid statistics for potential infertility patients to use when selecting a clinic for treatment.

One common fear patients have when undergoing infertility treatment is that they will give birth to septuplets and, unwillingly, be the star of the next multiple births media frenzy. The CDC report offers encouraging news for Atlanta-area patients -- three out of the four fertility clinics in Atlanta have multiple birth rates below the national average. In fact, the multiple birth rate at Georgia Reproductive Specialists (GRS) is the lowest in Atlanta at only 11%, well-below the national average of 35%. Singleton pregnancies are preferred over multiples due to less risk of premature births and complications during the pregnancy. In addition to advanced IVF laboratory techniques, novel medical approaches to infertility such as the use of Letrozole or Metformin rather than injectable gonadotropins significantly reduce both cost and multiple birth risk while maintaining high pregnancy rates.

"Our patients come to us because they want to have a healthy baby at home at the end of their treatment, not three or four babies in intensive care for months after delivery," said Michael Tucker, Ph.D., scientific director at Georgia Reproductive Specialists. "By combining the skill and expertise of our physicians and embryologists, along with the most advanced treatment options available, we are able to offer our patients the best chance of success while minimizing the risk of multiples."

Another advantage the report offers to individuals seeking fertility treatment in Atlanta is a higher chance of success than the national average. Two Atlanta clinics come in above the average, with the highest rate of pregnancy per IVF cycle being 39% at GRS. Assisted reproductive technology is a relatively new field, with the first IVF birth just twenty-five years ago, and as more research is done and new techniques developed, the rate of multiples will continue to drop as success rates rise in leading fertility clinics.

The full CDC report can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/ART01/index.htm .

About Georgia Reproductive Specialists:

Georgia Reproductive Specialists (GRS) applies medical science's most advanced fertility technologies to provide the highest standards of patient- centered, reproductive healthcare. The staff at GRS, including infertility laboratory pioneer Michael Tucker, Ph.D., is focused on providing individualized, innovative solutions for reproductive challenges and infertility, specializing in in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection and other assisted reproductive technologies. Fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinologists Dr. Mark Perloe, Dr. Eric Scott Sills and Dr. Carolyn Kaplan, are experts in female and male disorders including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, repeated pregnancy loss, menstrual disorders and azoospermia. GRS has three offices, Atlanta, Alpharetta and Decatur, to conveniently serve patients across Metro Atlanta. For more information about Georgia Reproductive Specialists, visit www.ivf.com .

Sextuplets born in Jan. at 24 and 25 weeks remain in hospital.  
By Bob Downing
Beacon Journal staff writer

A Michigan family knows exactly what Jennifer and Keith Hanselman, the parents of Ohio's first sextuplets, are facing.
Last month, Amy and Ben Van Houten became the parents of Michigan's first sextuplets: four boys and two girls.
Five of those babies remain in critical but stable condition in DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids. The sixth is listed as serious. All are expected to remain in the hospital until late April, their full-term due date.
One Van Houten infant was born on Jan. 7, four more arrived on Jan. 16, and the final one came on Jan. 17.
John, the first, was born at 24 weeks and weighed 1 pound, 8 ounces. That gave him a 60 percent to 70 percent chance of survival, doctors said. He now weighs 1 pound, 14 ounces.
His siblings were all born at 25 weeks and have a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of survival, doctors said.
John's brothers are:
• Gerrit, 1 pound, 12 ounces at birth; now 2 pounds, 2 ounces.
• Nolan, 2 pounds, 1 ounce at birth; now 2 pounds, 8 ounces.
• Peyton, 1 pound, 4 ounces at birth; now 2 pounds, 3 ounces.
His sisters are:
• Samantha, 1 pound, 7 ounces at birth; now 1 pound, 11 ounces. She is the one listed in serious condition and the only infant breathing on her own.
• Kennedy, the last born, 1 pound, 5 ounces at birth; now 1 pound, 14 ounces.
Ben Van Houten, 29, is a machine builder. His wife, Amy, 26, is a teacher. She was hospitalized in early December.
The family has a Web site -- www.vanhoutensix.org -- that offers up-to-date information on the sextuplets. Efforts to reach the Van Houtens Thursday were unsuccessful.

Multiple births in U.S.
No one is sure how many sextuplets have been born in the United States.
Federal statistics group sextuplets with births that include five or more babies. The nation had 77 sets of such births in 2000.
Multiple births are on the increase because of fertility treatments and because more women are giving birth at older ages. Women in their 30s are more likely to have multiple babies than younger women, even when the younger women have undergone fertility treatments.
In a typical year, the United States has 4 million births, including 6,900 sets of triplets, 625 sets of quadruplets and 79 sets of five or more babies, according to the multiple-birth Web site TwinStuff.com.
The site says that, as of December 2001, there was evidence of 19 sets of surviving sextuplets around the world, including four in the United States.
The world's first surviving set of sextuplets was the Rosenkowitz siblings, born in South Africa in 1974. The first American sextuplets were the Dilleys, born in Indiana in 1993.
At least three sets of septuplets -- seven children -- have survived, including the McCaugheys in Iowa in 1997. Other surviving septuplets were born in Saudi Arabia in 1998 and in Washington, D.C., in 2001.
In 2002, Nkem Chukwu of Houston gave birth to eight infants, seven of whom survived.

Premature Twins Become Fund-raiser ‘Spokesmen'

By Michael N. Graff
The Winchester Star

Terri and Mike Soder moved to Winchester about four years ago, hoping to start a family and eventually have two children.

When they discovered Terri was pregnant with twins, the Soders thought the situation was perfect.

Things wound up far from wonderful, though.

Complications forced Terri into pre-term labor 26 weeks into her pregnancy.

With the aid of several drugs — many of which were developed because of research from the March of Dimes — doctors were able to postpone a Cesarean section six more weeks. Terri delivered Justin and Jacob Soder after just 32 weeks.

The boys weighed a combined 6 pounds, 4 ounces, and both had respiratory distress syndrome.

“It just hurt; it hurt bad,” Terri Soder said. “It got very tiring. I was emotionally drained and physically drained.”

Now, as both play and act like everyday 22-month-old boys, it's hard for Terri and Mike to imagine how badly things could have ended.

“Without the research and without the drugs, I know Justin would not be here with us today,” Terri said.

The March of Dimes celebrates many similar success stories each year, mostly because of its largest fundraiser, WalkAmerica.

Jacob and Justin, now at healthy weights of 27 and 22 pounds, respectively, are the ambassador children for this year's Winchester March of Dimes fundraising efforts.

One portion of the campaign started Monday, as the twins sold the first sneaker cutouts in the March of Dimes sneaker campaign at Kmart, 1675 Pleasant Valley Road. Each sneaker cutout costs $1; the funds go to the March of Dimes.

Kmart has been in partnership with the March of Dimes for nearly two decades. Clerks at the store will sell blue sneaker cutouts to customers for $1 until the campaign ends May 9.


I hope to see the windows covered with blue shoes,” local WalkAmerica Chairwoman Tammi Collins said.

Last year, the Winchester Kmart raised more than $1,000 by selling the $1 shoe cutouts.

“A lot of people just automatically give the dollar,” said Donna Davis, team captain for Kmart's March of Dimes team. “I never realized how many people did until I started working with it. I think it's important because it's babies. Anything that has to do with children, I'm all for.”

Terri Soder, for one, can't thank the March of Dimes enough.

Justin, by far, was in much worse shape than his brother. The infant weighed just 2 pounds, 1 ounce at birth, meaning he was developed like a 26-week-old fetus.

“They didn't know if he was going to make it,” Terri Soder said.

Jacob eventually went home after 27 days at the Winchester Medical Center. Justin stayed put.

“The hardest part was when I was discharged,” Terri Soder said. “Going home without my kids was horrid. It was the worst thing in the world.”

Along with his underdeveloped lungs, Justin had an enlarged gall bladder, spleen, and liver.

Several times, doctors contemplated sending Justin to Charlottesville and the University of Virginia Medical Center. But each time, Justin would progress.

With the aid of several drugs like Surfactant, Justin left the hospital at 5 pounds — 72 days after birth.

“Now he's the spitfire of the two,” Terri said. “It's just amazing. He beat it all.”

Male triplets at higher risk for preterm birth

Differences in fetal sex hormones might explain research findings

Triplets are more likely to be born prematurely if there are more males in the mix.

"Essentially, male fetal gender predisposes to preterm birth," says Dr. Lillian Kaminsky, a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Connecticut Health Center in
Farmington . "It has been previously demonstrated that in singletons and in twins, male gender (also) predisposes to preterm birth."

Working with Dr. James Egan, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, she looked at birth data on more than 17,000 sets of triplets.

Nearly 17 per cent of all-male triplets were born prematurely at less than 28 weeks. (A full-term pregnancy is 37 weeks.) If there were two males and one female in the triplets, less than 15 per cent were born before 28 weeks. And if the triplets consisted of all females or only one male, about 14 per cent were born before 28 weeks.

Kaminsky says researchers have proposed various explanations for the association between male gender and preterm birth. One possibility is differences in sex hormones.

"Maybe there is something the male fetus produces that predisposes to preterm birth," she says. "Finding the explanation might elucidate the actual mechanism of preterm birth, which is also by itself not known."


Triplets being considered for television show

By Jane Howard Lee
Baytown Sun

Published February 29, 2004

The incessant flashing of a red light ceases and comes to an end. I pull open the heavy door marked Stage 10 and enter a shadowy realm — behind the scenes in a Hollywood television studio. Not just any studio, this is part of Hollywood Center Studios, one of the legendary studios of the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood. Many a hit has been filmed here. Many awards were earned by work performed here. Shows currently produced at this studio include “Star Search,” “Mad TV,” “Crank Yankers,” “The Man Show,” and on Stage 10, a popular Disney Channel TV series called “That's So Raven” is shot. But this week Stage 10 is where Baytown 's Gainer triplets are taking a shot at their own weekly television series. Shooting the pilot for “Triple Play” was the result of a year of preliminaries. It began when producer Irene Dreayer called and asked the girls' talent agent if she had any male twins of a certain age among her clientele. “No,” she said, “but I have these incredible triplets who are girls.”
Alyssa, Kaitlyn and Lauren Gainer, along with their mother and agent, met with Dreayer, and the wheels quickly began turning. A meeting with Matt Jackson, who is with talent relations for the Disney Channel, brought Disney into the mix.
A concept was created just for the triplets, then a script was written by Dreayer's close friend Dava Savel, who also now serves as co-executive producer for the project. The girls signed a contract with Disney and things got serious. There was a search for other actors, and final casting was completed just weeks before the shoot.
The girls spent some time in California last fall working with acting coaches, a dialogue coach and others, then they returned home for a breather. In late January they were off to California again. The pilot began rehearsals and shooting the week of Feb. 9 with the final scenes shot before a studio audience on Feb. 13.
On that final day, the BIG day, the day that I went to watch, excitement ran high. The huge studio was a warren of passageways leading around, behind and through sets decorated to be rooms in the fictitious Fuller family's home and a doughnut shop. There was much rushing (often on tiptoes) between dressing rooms and stages. Most scenes were shot at least three times, to be edited for the best, spliced in with different angle shots and made into an entertaining piece appropriate for a 30-minute situation comedy.
The cast includes some well-known faces and some not so well-known, but carefully chosen for their talent and suitability for the target audience.
Alyssa, Kaitlyn and Lauren Gainer play Alex, Karly and Lucy Fuller, newly adopted daughters of Pete and Maggie Fuller, who already had a teenage son, Harry.
Pete is played by Bruce Nozick whose face will be familiar to many, after the dozens of guest appearances he has made on prime time television series. Leigh-Allyn Baker plays Maggie Fuller but will be easily recognized by fans of the series “Will & Grace” as Ellen, a character that has shown up repeatedly since 1998.
Zac Efron has the role of Harry Fuller and will definitely give young female viewers someone new to think about, while Andre Jamal Kinney plays Harry's best friend, Baz, to charmingly comedic perfection. I saw both those young men in guest-starring roles on prime-time series last week and was again amazed at their talent.
To top things off, a very recognizable actress shores up the cast in the role of Roberta, a waitress in the doughnut shot who sports a beehive hairdo and an equally tall talent for snappy comebacks. She is none other than Marcia Wallace, best known for playing Bob Newhart's secretary, Carol, on The Bob Newhart Show — though the younger generation might recognize her voice from her role as the voice of Edna Krabappel on “The Simpsons,” for which she won an Emmy Award.
The Gainer girls held their own among the talented cast during the shooting, whether wallowing in a vat of batter, playing second (and third and fourth) fiddle to a scraggly dog with gas or just calmly taking direction from the director.
Parents Dana and Jerry Gainer maintained a professional and supportive presence throughout, though Dana admitted to quite a case of nerves later.
“I just can't believe they've come this far,” she said. “Those are my babies out there!”
The day's shoot went well. Several scenes were shot in front of the studio audience, then previously shot scenes were played from the audience members on video screens. They laughed in the right places. They ooohed and ahhhhed when appropriate. Things looked good.
Now only further tests will tell, and the Gainer girls can only wait and see if their future will hold “Triple Play” as a regular series on the Disney Channel.
Meanwhile, they are back in Baytown and in their regular school, at least until the agent calls with the next job or audition.

Central TV –

Peter Bearne

A mother of triplets, who devised a breathing aid to relieve congestion in babies, has seen her invention reach the supermarket shelves. Carolyn Moretto created the device out of a ballpoint pen and part of her husband's wine-making kit. Peter Bearne reports.
Inventor Carolyn Moretto says 'Place the nozzle at baby's nostril then gently suck on the tube'.
Carolyn Moretto demonstrates the device which has turned her from mother-of-three, into self-made businesswoman. She got the idea after the birth of her triplets Alex, Max and Georgia. Three months premature, they needed hospital treatment to help their breathing. But back home at Ilkeston in Derbyshire, Carolyn had nothing to relieve their congestion. Until she came up with her own homemade solution.
Carolyn says 'I made my own with my husband's home wine tubing and fixed that on to an old pen nozzle and I sucked it and it was great'.
So was born the "Baby Nose-Clear Nasal Aspirator.


It's now produced by a Nottingham healthcare firm. Twelve thousand were sold in its first year. Tesco's are already stocking it. Boots the Chemist are launching it next month.
Carolyn says 'You feel very very proud and it's great you can tell the children Mummy made that and it's really lovely'.
Carolyn's invention is designed to help young children breath, feed and sleep more easily. Until the time comes when they unblock that nose for themselves.

Triplets, quadruplets meet for special 2nd birthday party
By Amy Boerema Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted 3/1/2004

Ellen Shwatal and Jeanne Iovinelli already have plans for their children to get married.

Even though they just turned 2 Sunday.

Each the mother of triplets, the two moms joke about which of the Shwatal children is best suited for the Iovinelli kids.

It was part of the discussion Sunday when the families gathered to celebrate their kids' second birthday at a Glen Ellyn McDonald's, along with four other sets of triplets and one set of quadruplets.

The parents, who met through Triplet Tree, an informal local group of moms of triplets, all have kids who turned 2 in the past few months.

"We thought it would be fun for the 2-year-olds to get together," said Naperville mom Monica Sampias.

The toddlers, many of whom were dressed like their siblings, took over the restaurant's play area, climbing on plastic animals and eating birthday cupcakes. Moms said this local group, which meets once a month for dinner, is a great way for them to share stories and advice.

For many of the mothers, having triplets was an unexpected but wonderful surprise.

"You can't ever be prepared to raise three kids," Sampias said. "It's getting harder every day. But it's also getting more fun."

Shwatal, of West Chicago , said it can be challenging for her and her husband, Dan, to meet Madeleine, Austin and Nathan's needs at the same time.

"You get good at multi-tasking," she said. "You get through a day the best you can."

Lombard resident Iovinelli, who along with husband Mark has Frank, Grace and Sarah, said raising triplets has forced her to prioritize.

"It's hard," she said. "It's harder than I expected. I don't try to have a clean house. I play with them and teach them. Everything else can wait."

And though three toddlers fighting for attention and crying over toys can be difficult ("Some days it's like a play group gone bad," Sampias said) the good times, like learning to talk and walk are three times as good.

One of the best parts about raising triplets, according to the parents, is watching them interact. For example, the kids will get upset when one sibling isn't there.

"They just seem lost. They'll keep looking around," Shwatal said.

Sampias said her children, Ava, Madeline and Cole, often speak their own language which she can't understand. They also will fetch each other's special bedtime toys and comfort each other when one's hurt or crying.

"When Ava bumped her head, Madeline offered her juice," she said. "That makes the hard times worth it."

Because her children are used to being around each other, Sampias said they are extremely interactive and social with other children.

Having triplets is also the perfect play date, Shwatal and Iovinelli said. The women had their children within two weeks of each other and remain close, talking nearly every day.

The moms paired up Frank and Madeleine to get married. Austin and Sarah were matched because they're both the smallest and left-handed.

"And Grace and Nathan both just have very strong personalities," Shwatal said.

Though the kids are a bit young to date, they have taken a small step in the right direction - they know each other's names.

It's a start, anyway.

For more information about local triplet groups, e-mail danandellen1@msn.com.


DALLAS , March 2 (UPI) -- The formerly conjoined Egyptian twins have been fitted with protective helmets in Texas until their skulls can be reconstructed.

Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim were joined at the crowns of their heads until they were separated in 34 hours of surgery last October in Dallas . They are scheduled to undergo more surgery later this year to close openings in their skulls.

The two-piece helmets were created by Jeanne Pomatto, founder and chief executive officer of Cranial Technologies, the Dallas Morning News reported. The headgear made of lightweight plastic weigh only 8 or 9 ounces.

Pomatto and her staff in Phoenix have donated their services along with Medical Modeling, a Colorado company that designed plastic models of the boys' heads.

Doctors at Medical City Dallas say the 2-year-old boys will be released from the hospital this month to stay with their parents in a nearby apartment.

In a recent news conference, the surgeon in charge of their care said they were "doing extremely well."

British tycoon twins David and Frederick Barclay have withdrawn their offer to buy Conrad Black's Hollinger Inc <HLGc.TO>, exacerbating the cash crunch at the firm, which missed a Monday debt payment.

TORONTO David and Frederick Barclay, the billionaire British twins who own London 's Ritz hotel, said on Tuesday that they had withdrawn offers to buy Conrad Black's majority stake in the Toronto-based newspaper group Hollinger Inc. No reason for the decision was given in a statement by the Barclays' company, Press Holdings International. Lekha Rao, who represents Press Holdings and is with an outside firm, declined to comment beyond the statement.


The withdrawal comes less than a week after Hollinger International, publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Telegraph in London , won a court ruling in Delaware to block Black from selling his controlling stake. The ruling, by Judge Leo Strine of Delaware Chancery Court, may allow the company's board to auction its newspapers over Black's objections. The Barclays had offered more than 420 million Canadian dollars, or $313.6 million, for Hollinger Inc., the Canadian company that Black uses to hold 73 percent of Hollinger International's votes.


Black quit as chief executive of Hollinger International in November and put the company up for sale after an investigation found he and three partners paid themselves $15.6 million without the board's approval. The investigation, by a special committee of Hollinger directors, also uncovered $16.6 million in undisclosed payments to Hollinger Inc.


Black's ownership of The Telegraph earned him a British peerage and his departure heralded the end of a career in which he transformed Hollinger from a two-man partnership with a pair of Quebec weeklies into a newspaper empire that once stretched from Australia to Israel .


Strine, the judge, concluded that Black had breached an agreement that barred him from selling Hollinger Inc.


James Badenhausen, a spokesman for Black, and Paul Healy of Hollinger International did not immediately return calls.


On Monday, Hollinger Inc. said it had not made an interest payment due March 1 on $120 million of its debt, the latest maneuver by Black for control of his newspaper empire. The holding company said in a statement that it had not technically defaulted on its senior secured notes due 2011 because it still had 30 days to make the interest payment and was trying to figure out how to do so. "Hollinger, together with its advisers, are continuing to actively examine Hollinger's available options in order to satisfy its obligations under the senior secured note indenture in a timely manner," the statement said.


Badenhausen said the company had no comment beyond what was said in the statement.


Hollinger Inc. owns about 72 percent of the voting control and 30 percent of the equity in Hollinger International Inc., which is based in Chicago .


Black's lawyers had argued in Delaware that Black needed to consummate a deal with the Barclays to alleviate a potential funding shortfall at the parent company. Hollinger Inc. owes a $7.4 million in interest on the $120 million of notes, which are secured by the company's Hollinger International stake.


Strine was not convinced by this argument. He said Hollinger International must offer short-term financing to the parent company to help make the interest payment. He also said Black, the former Hollinger International chief operating officer David Radler and a company controlled by Black must "live up to their substantial obligations" to Hollinger Inc. (Bloomberg, Reuters)

Move follows court ruling in Delaware blocking sale by Black

Copyright 2004, Reuters News Service

Twins' identical cells aid medical procedure

By Ruth A. Moller March 02, 2004

Identical twin sisters made a bit of medical history at
McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls this February.
Martha and Mary Williams, daughters of Everett and Hilma Williams, grew up in the St. Lawrence area and graduated from St. Lawrence High School. Martha Byrum now lives in Redfield and her identical sister, Mary Styles, lives in
Sioux Falls .
Mary was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in April 2003. This is a disease of the bone marrow that is characterized by the presence of numerous myelomas (tumors) in various bones of the body.
Mary reports, "After they removed the first tumor, they found another small tumor in my neck and they removed it. It was also malignant."
In June, Mary received 25 radiation treatments. When those treatments were complete, she wore a "chemo patch" that released the chemical 24 hours a day, four days a week, for four months.
Her physician, Dr. Keppen, then referred her to Kelly McCaul and Vinod Parameswaran, doctors specializing in leukemia and bone marrow transplants.
When the doctors learned that Mary had an identical twin, they contacted Martha to test for compatibility.
"My twin and I had to go through a lot of tests to make sure we were identical," Mary relates. Once it was determined that we were, "everything fell into place."set to donate her "perfect match" stem cells to Mary for the bone marrow transplant. Mary would receive the healthy cells, just like hers, with the hope the transplant would replace the diseased cells.
Martha says the donor receives shots before the transaction in order to build up the stem cells.
Mary was admitted to
McKennan Hospital February 2 to undergo a series of chemotherapy treatments. "I had intravenous chemotherapy for four days, and then Sunday I had another type of chemo. They wanted to make sure that all of my cancer cells were destroyed before they put Martha's stem cells into the marrow."
The procedure took place February 9. Martha said it took three to four hours to collect the stem cells from her body; however, it only took 15 to 20 minutes to transplant them to her sister's bone marrow.
"Because we're a perfect match, Mary won't have to take rejection pills," Martha explained. "When they do a bone marrow transplant, it is like a blood transfusion. They take the blood and separate the stem cells from the blood. The blood is then returned to the donor, and the stem cells are used for the bone marrow procedure."
Martha's healthy stem cells are already attaching to the bone, Mary said. "They say this is not a cure, but a treatment."
The sisters said that the use of stem cells from an identical sibling is a first at McKennan and, as far as they know, anyplace else.
Mary and Martha both report they "feel great." Martha added that they told their story because it might lend hope to others who may have to consider a similar transplant procedure.

©Miller Press 2004

Twins guilty of burglary

Published: Monday, March 1, 2004

MORRISON — Twin brothers from Prophetstown, less than one year from having graduated from high school, are serving six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after being found guilty of burglary.

John L. Hall and Christopher L. Hall, 19, appeared in back-to-back court hearings the morning of Feb. 25 before Associate Judge John L. Hauptman. Both brothers agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the sentences.

Both were arrested in the early morning hours of Dec. 8, outside the Wagon Wheel Lounge and Restaurant, 1711 W. Fourth St. , Sterling , after attempting to commit burglary. Whiteside County sheriff's deputies and Sterling Police officers responded to a silent alarm at the restaurant, and after they arrived, officers heard a loud banging noise from within the restaurant.

A sheriff's deputy yelled that he was about to let go of his canine, before the arrests were made.

A back window had been broken at the restaurant, and a video game machine and cash register were damaged. Police found a cash bag nearby. One of the Hall brothers was caught by police as he was observed walking in the nearby Woodlawn Trailer Park on state Route 2 about 15 to 20 minutes after police arrived at the scene. The other Hall brother was not observed running from the business, but was stopped by police as he was entering a car that was parked nearby.

This is the first conviction for Christopher Hall, but the second for John Hall. He was on probation from a 2002 burglary conviction.

Hauptman said John Hall was guilty of burglary and violation of probation. He received 79 days credit for time already served in Whiteside County Jail. Christopher Hall was found guilty of burglary. He also received 79 days credit for time already served in jail.

By pleading guilty, Christopher Hall had two other counts dismissed, one for aggravated battery in a public place and one for knowingly damaging property valued between $300 and $10,000.

John Hall had one count of aggravated battery in a public place dismissed.

The state agreed to not prosecute the brothers for the burglary of Arnie's Happy Spot, Deer Grove, which was burglarized Nov. 6.

While their cases are finished in Whiteside County , the Hall brothers still face burglary charges in Carroll and Henry counties.

Also arrested in regard to the Wagon Wheel burglary was Scott W. Stephens, 20, of Erie . He faces two burglary counts in Whiteside County . Currently in Whiteside County Jail, Stephens is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. March 3 for a continued formal arraignment.

Copyright 2001-2004 Sauk Valley Newspapers

Waugh twins play to the end

SYDNEY : Twins Steve and Mark Waugh, fiercely-competitive from their backyard cricket days of their youth, play what could be their last first-class match this weekend, separated by just a fraction in batting averages.

After scoring more than 50,000 first-class runs between them over 20 years, Steve, older by four minutes, is shading brother Mark in career batting averages: 52.01 to 51.98. “So we're three-hundredths of a run apart,” Steve said ahead of New South Wales ' final regular match of the Sheffield Shield season against Queensland starting here on Thursday. “I remember (former NSW and Australian teammate) Mike Whitney saying that at the end of our careers we would be pretty equal in stats.” “What do I need to get level?” interjected Mark. “Or maybe I can finish .01 in front.” “There might be a run-out in this game,” Steve shot back. The competitiveness of their formative years in Sydney 's western suburbs featured prominently in the twins' final pre-match press conference. Both acknowledged they were lucky to have the other. “We had ready-made opponents every time we walked out into the backyard,” said Mark. “In your teenage years you don't want to let your brother outdo you.”

Steve added: “We spurred each other to the best we possibly could.” NSW and Queensland both must win outright this week to make the Shield final against Victoria at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and hope that Tasmania goes pointless against Victoria . NSW will be boosted by the return of Test spearhead Glenn McGrath after ankle surgery as well as members from the Australian one-day team in Sri Lanka – Michael Bevan, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin. —AFP

Double the choices for twins attending college
Melisa Gao
Princetonian Senior Writer

    Sean Effinger-Dean '06 never had much of his own space, even before he was born. While in the womb, his foot was jammed against his twin sister's face, leaving her jaw slightly pushed in for months after birth.
    "It grew out after a while," he said, explaining, "I was a big baby — we both were."
    Despite their pre-birth battle for space, the pair grew up close friends, sharing a knack for math and a love of musical theater.
    When it came time to pick college, though, they knew they wanted to go their separate ways. Effinger-Dean applied early to
Princeton , while his sister chose to attend Williams College .
    And when Effinger-Dean arrived for freshman orientation week, he learned that two of his three roommates had made a similar decision: Kirk Hou '06 and Matt Mims '06 had both chosen to go to college apart from their identical twins.
    At least seven pairs of twins currently attend the University together. Some share a room, play on the same athletic team and take many of the same classes. But Effinger-Dean, Hou and Mims, who are rooming together again this year, are among those who have chosen to make college a separate existence from their twin.
    Effinger-Dean explained that he sees college as a time to become independent. Having made the decision to go to school four hours from home, he said, "If my sister came with me, it wouldn't be that complete experience."
    The three roommates agreed that splitting up has affected how they are perceived by others.
    "We always knew that we had our own separate identities, even though we shared a lot of the same interests," said Mims, whose brother attends the
University of Pennsylvania . "But it was always this thing with other people — the first thing they knew about us was that we were twins, and so they would react to us based on that."
    For Hou, the past two years have been a chance to assert his own identity.
    "In high school, we were collectively known as the Hous. We were the same person to everybody," he said. "I never viewed us as the Hous, but it was always such a part of our daily life that it became part of my personality. I had to worry about what I did because it would reflect on him.
    "Now," he added, "I can just watch out for me."
    Mims, who plays in band with his brother, said it would be nice to have him around more often so they could rehearse together. But he has no regrets about the decision to split up.
    "People are getting a truer picture of our identities because the twin thing is in the background," he said.
    Though Effinger-Dean, Hou and Mims hd long since known they wanted to go to college apart from their twin, they went on college tours as pairs — which meant Effinger-Dean was forced to visit a couple of all-girl schools.
    Hou and his brother even applied to several of the same colleges, where, he said, "We were worried that we were going to compete with each other. A lot of schools are so selective that it was like, 'Why would they take two of the same person?' "
    Elizabeth and Margaret Feuille '06 took the opposite view. "We were so similar on paper that they couldn't have justified taking one and not the other," Margaret said.
    The two, who had almost exactly the same test scores, transcript and extracurricular activites, applied to the same schools and received the same responses from all 14.
    Having chosen
Princeton for its academic reputation and dance opportunities, the Feuilles are both members of Expressions who hope to go to medical school after graduation.
    Margaret said that while she is fine with how things turned out, she sometimes wonders what it would have been like if the two had separated.
    At times, she said, people associate them too much. When things didn't work out between Liz and one male student, he asked a mutual friend to set him up with Margaret.
    "That was really weird," Margaret said. "It was like, 'Can't have one, so I'll take the other.' "
    Given the option, she admitted, she might have opted for
Princeton without her sister.
    "It would probably have been better if I didn't go to school with Liz," she said. "I have learned to be a lot more independent, but it can be hard comparing myself to my twin."


Craven twins suspended one game each

Walnut Creek, CA (Sports Network) - The Pac-10 upheld the one-game suspensions given to Southern California guards Errick and Derrick Craven for separate incidents in last Saturday's game versus California.

The suspensions were originally handed down on Tuesday, but the school appealed them. The Pac-10 Compliance and Enforcement Committee upheld the decision after a Friday hearing.

"In each incident, the player committed an unsporting act toward an opposing player," said Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen. "The actions warranted the one- game suspension."

Errick Craven, who is averaging 10.8 points per game this season, will sit out Thursday's contest against Oregon, while brother Derrick, averaging six points a game, will miss the following game versus Oregon State on March 6.

In addition, the three game officials who worked the game failed to call flagrant fouls on the two plays for which the suspensions were assessed. Those officials have been disciplined through the loss of one game assignment each, Hansen stated.



The doubles team of Mike and Bob Bryan, who won a career-high five ATP doubles titles in 2002 and faced off against each other in the mixed doubles final at the 2002 US Open, spent a half-day doing a television shoot for the hit American TV comedy series "8 Simple Rules" this past week at ABC's Disney Studios in Los Angeles.

They appeared in a scene with stars John Ritter and Kaley Cuoco, who herself is a standout tennis player.

Mike and Bob were given plenty of time to rehearse their two lines, apparently with much success, so stay tuned for future airdates of the show.


Sherry Murphy, 41, was arrested at 1:45 a.m. EST Thursday Jan 9th in Newark, NJ after a days-long nationwide manhunt by police and the FBI. The boys were found locked in a basement.
The boys, ages 4 and 7, had been starved, beaten and burned. After officers took the boys from the scene, the 7-year-old told police he had a twin brother. Police returned to the basement and found that boy's body in a container.
A hospital spokeswoman said the boys were in fair condition. Because the boys have been so abused, they have bonded closely, and hospital officials are keeping them in the same room.
In a related development, Joe Reese, the boyfriend of the biological mother of the boys, was arrested and arraigned Wednesday on charges of sexually
abusing one of the twins.
The allegations of sexual abuse state it occurred while the boys were in the custody of their mother, who was living with Reese in Irvington, New Jersey, before the boys moved in with Murphy. The mother, Melissa Williams, left the children with Murphy while Williams was in jail for abusing these same children! After the mother was released from jail in August, she claimed she could not find her cousin or the children.

BURNED TWINS BATTLE FOR LIFE in wake of explosion

The flames ate away the hands of Daniel and Josuha Discua, burning down to the muscles and tendons and wrapping around their arms.
The little boys' lungs are burned by smoke, and their faces will be scarred forever.
That's if they live.
The 3-year-old twins continued to fight for survival Friday, a day after a natural gas explosion sent a 10-foot wall of flames into their central Phoenix apartment.
"There's a one-in-three chance that we could lose one kid, if not both," said Dr. Daniel Caruso, a director of the Arizona Burn Center, where the boys are being treated.
But, Caruso said, "They're young healthy children. They have no medical problems. Obviously, the will to survive is strong for both of them."Daniel was burned over 65 percent of his body and Josuha over 40 percent. Caruso said both boys suffered the worst burns on their hands, faces and the backs of their heads. The burns on the hands and arms were so severe that surgeons had to cut them open to the muscle to restore blood flow.
The boys face possible amputations in the future, and the function in their hands could be limited. The burns on their lungs could cause pneumonia or respiratory failure. Both boys were sedated Friday and in critical condition. Their parents, who were at work at the time of the explosion, were at their bedside.
"So far so good," Caruso said, "but it's very early."
Fire officials said Friday the explosion was caused by a natural gas leak ignited by an electrical source in a utility room beneath the boys' apartment. A dryer or an electrical panel in the room most likely sparked the gas, officials said.
Residents of the apartment building were kept away Friday as officials from Southwest Gas tried to pinpoint the leak. Garth Andrews, a company spokesman, said workers were digging up a line about 100 to 150 feet from the utility room. That line is near a pipe that has electrical wires inside it, and the pipe could have acted as a subway to move the gas.
Andrews said the apartment complex where the explosion occurred had been surveyed for leaks in August, and no problems were found. No one had reported smelling natural gas at the complex before the explosion, he said.
The Valley has about 13,000 miles of natural gas piping and although Phoenix firefighters were called for gas leaks 387 times last year, fires are infrequent, happening maybe once every year to 18 months.
"Things happen but for them to get this far where they have an explosion is pretty rare," Andrews said. The Discua brothers are expected to be hospitalized for about two months, followed by many more months of inpatient, then outpatient rehabilitation. Caruso said the boys will undergo their next surgeries on Monday.
"They've got a long road ahead of them," he said.


Bundles of joy abound in a rare sequence of births at UCSD
By Cheryl Clark Union-Tribune Staff 1/4/03
Peggy Peattie/Union - Tribune

Doctors and nurses at UCSD Medical Center have accomplished what no San Diego Padre ever has and what any baseball player rarely does: They "hit for the cycle," delivering a solo baby, twins, triplets and quadruplets.

Doctors and nurses at UCSD Medical Center have accomplished what no San Diego Padre ever has and what any baseball player rarely does. They "hit for the cycle." The Hillcrest labor and delivery team delivered a single infant, a set of twins, a set of triplets and a set of quadruplets – all within a 15-hour, 23-minute period between 8:39 p.m. New Year's Day and 12:02 p.m. Thursday. And they did it in that order. All 10 infants were premature and several pounds below normal birth weight, and were transferred to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, where they were said to be doing well. Bob Leary, senior staff scientist for the San Diego Supercomputer Center, calculated the odds of the births – in any order – at between 1 in 500,000 and 1 in 2 million for a 24-hour period. But for it to occur in this sequence – one, two, three and four – "the odds are even six times less likely." The phrase "hit for the cycle" describes the rare event in which a baseball player hits a single, a double, a triple and a home run in the same game. In addition, two other babies were born at UCSD – one in the emergency room and one in the labor room – during the same period for a total of 12 births. The bizarre confluence of multiple births in such a short period at one hospital, which delivers about 7 percent of the county's babies, astounded UCSD's doctors and nurses. Of the 43,000 to 46,000 babies born each year in recent years in the county, about 3,000 are delivered at UCSD. Dr. Brian Lane, a UCSD neonatology fellow who assisted with many of the deliveries, was among the first to use the baseball analogy when he realized what was happening. "I think we just hit for the cycle," he called out. "We were all trying to figure this out whether this was the first time for this combination, and this many," he said. Added Dr. Jamie Jones, attending physician, "The odds are pretty unlikely it would happen" not just on any one day in California, but in any one county, and much less inside one hospital with relatively few deliveries. Linda Levy, director of UCSD's Women's Health Services, added, "This was all completely by chance." The hospital has never delivered this many babies in that short a time and never in this combination, Levy said. In addition, it's rare to have 10 children admitted into the neonatal ICU in that short of a time. They were all healthy and breathing room air, Levy said. "They're doing wonderfully." UCSD officials would not say whether any of the mothers had been taking fertility drugs, which often lead to multiple births, or had undergone other fertility treatments. Levy said many members of UCSD's staff, including social service workers, doctors and nurses, were called in on their days off when the unit, which cares for the most fragile of newborns, rapidly filled. Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women, which delivers 6,500 babies a year and as many as 30 a day – the most of any hospital in the county – has never had this combination of multiple births within a 24-hour period, said a Sharp official. A spokeswoman for Kaiser, which delivers 5,500 babies a year, also said such a combination has never occurred. Daniel Ramirez, born to Jose and Maria Ramirez of San Diego, is the single child. The twins are Erica Faye and Vanessa Dawn, born to Grace and Duane Rice of Poway. The quadruplets are Nicholas Alexander, Hudson, Cole and Isabella Lovell, born to Warren and Carol Lovell of Poway. The hospital did not reveal the names of the triplets or the specific times of their birth, citing patient confidentiality.

Twins Reunite After 20 Years

Tamara Rabi and Adriana Scott were twin sisters born in Mexico but adopted by different families. They were
reunited 20 years later through a friend of a friend.


As soon as Tamara Rabi arrived at Hofstra University, she noticed the bizarre behavior. People she had never laid eyes on would smile, wave and greet her as an intimate. Then, met by Tamara's blank stare, they would walk away. A few friends claimed to have spotted someone who looked just like her. Someone else from Mexico, she figured.

So when a friend of a friend showed up at her 20th birthday party and could not stop gawking, insisting that Tamara looked just like his friend Adriana Scott, it was mildly annoying but not a surprise. As the other guests dug into ice cream cake, the friend's friend persisted. Adriana had also been born in Mexico, he said. Like Tamara, she was also adopted. And the two young women shared a birthday.

Thus began the real-life unfolding of a fairy-tale story line, a paradigm that has inspired psychological studies (nature vs. nurture), movies ("The Parent Trap") and at least one sitcom ("Sister, Sister").

Adriana, raised Roman Catholic in a house with a white picket fence in Valley Stream, on Long Island, and Tamara, raised Jewish in an apartment near the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, are twins. Because of problems in the adoption process, they were separated at birth.

For the twins and the women who adopted them as infants, the discovery has been a wondrous but complicated gift. The twins' adoptive fathers both died of cancer, one of several uncanny parallels. Neither knew she had a twin sister, and Tamara's adoptive mother, Judy Rabi, also did not know. Adriana's adoptive mother, Diane Scott, knew, but did not know how to find her daughter's twin.

With the help of the insistent party guest, Justin Latorre, Tamara and Adriana had their first contact - electronically - a few evenings after the birthday celebration.The two exchanged instant messages on their computers: Tamara flanked by friends in her dorm room at Hofstra, Adriana with her mother at home. They learned that both were 5-foot-3 3/8, "and it makes the difference," and that Tamara loves Chinese food, and Adriana doesn't.Mrs. Scott had long feared the moment she would have to tell her daughter the secret. Would Adriana understand how difficult it had been for her and her husband, Peter, to return to New York from Guadalajara with one twin and not the other, a heartbreak brought on by roadblocks in the adoption process? Would she understand that her parents had kept secret the knowledge that she was a twin to spare her, at least for a while, a frustrating search for her sister?

That evening, Mrs. Scott had a more immediate question: Was this Tamara from Hofstra really the one? She had at least one clue, the belief that the other baby had been adopted either by a rabbi or by a family named Rabi. So, her eyes fixed on the computer screen, she told Adriana to ask Tamara's last name."Rabi," came the reply."When I saw it coming up on the Internet, that last name, I thought, `Oh, my gosh, this is it,' " Mrs. Scott said.For Tamara, confirmation came when Adriana sent a picture of herself by e-mail. Had it not been for the teeth straightened by braces and the absence of a birthmark near the right eyebrow, it could have been a snapshot of Tamara herself."The picture came up and our jaws dropped," said Christie Lothrop, 19, one of Tamara's suitemates. "We didn't know what to do."The twins agreed to meet the following Sunday in a McDonald's parking lot near Hofstra, a world away from the Guadalajara hospital where they had last been together. Tamara brought two friends; Adriana, a junior at nearby Adelphi University, brought one.On the way, each twin panicked and suggested turning around. The friends would not have it. Identical twins separated at birth find one another on Long Island and then chicken out of their reunion? Forget about it.Soon they were face to face, sisters who had grown up as only children. "I'm just standing there looking at her," Adriana recalled. "It was a shock. I saw me." The group went somewhere else for lunch, where the twins sat side by side nibbling at chicken fajitas as their friends ogled at the similarities in their expressions, their gestures and how both rested for a few minutes midmeal, then resumed eating.

Later that day, at the Scotts' house, Tamara had trouble tearing her eyes away from what appeared to be her alternative past. There she was, captured on videotape, in a commercial for toilet paper. There she was, in a white frilly dress, for communion at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament. When Tamara finished a sentence with, "and, dah dah dah dah dah," Mrs. Scott burst out laughing. It sounded so familiar.

Still giddy, the twins and their friends drove into Manhattan to meet Tamara's mother, who had been skeptical about the whole story. That ended when her daughter walked in with a look-alike clutching childhood photos. "It was just incredible," Ms. Rabi said. "You just blink your eyes and say, `This can't be real.' " She ran to get her neighbor, who bore witness to the fact that it was.The following weeks were a whirl of breathless e-mail, eye-popping surprises and constant retellings to anyone who would listen, which meant everyone. The twins paraded each other through their respective campuses, and to their part-time jobs. A Hofstra student interviewed Tamara for a class assignment, and a senior communications major asked to do his final project on the twins. Tamara, who shares a name with a character on "Sister, Sister," had for years been asked from time to time, "Hey, Tamara, where's your twin?" Now she had an answer, although DNA testing has not yet been done.But the twins and their mothers have also experienced other emotions, subtleties that those on the listening end of their story could not be expected to quite understand. What, after all, is the "right" reaction when you are an only child who suddenly has a twin sister with your voice, your olive skin and even a pair of silver hoop earrings similar to yours? And as a widowed mother, how do you feel watching your only child bond with a sibling?From the start, Adriana said that finding a twin was a dream come true. In the weeks after their first meeting, she called Tamara often and invited her to parties, or announced that she was near Hofstra, and did Tamara want her to stop by. She placed a picture of both of them in a silver frame decorated with the word "sisters" that she had bought for a photograph of her sorority. She gave Tamara an identical frame.For Tamara, though, life was more complicated. Her adoptive father, Yitzhak, had just died on Nov. 11, about three weeks before the big reunion. Finding Adriana was a joyous distraction. "We were feeling so bad, and then that happened, it kind of took us to a different place," her mother said. But the grief was still raw, and the convergence of the two life-altering twists was overwhelming.Tamara did not always return her sister's calls, and she declined more invitations than she accepted. "It was hard to find out how to have a sister in your life when you've never had a sibling," she said. "We're not as close as people feel we should be." Slowly, hesitantly, and sometimes still giddily, they are getting there, settling into their strange, unexpected sisterhood. They have discovered that as children, they occasionally had the same haunting nightmare in which a loud sound fades into softness and then gets loud again, and that they both love dancing and started lessons when they were young.

When Adriana told Tamara about an audition for Entertainment Tonite, a D.J. company looking for dancers to help energize parties, they decided to go together. At the audition Wednesday night, the twins danced side by side, their ponytails swinging in sync as they followed the choreographer, Dayton A. Mealing.Afterward, they told him their story. "I would have freaked," he proclaimed. "Awesome." And when it comes to dancing, "they're both awesome." The twins were hired, said Mili Makhijani, 22, of Entertainment Tonite. Dancers are usually told to spread out and do different moves, Ms. Makhijani said. Not Adriana and Tamara. "These are the two," she said, "that are never going to separate."

New York Times March 3, 2003


2003 New Year's Baby Race

TWINS BORN New Years, 2003
Wednesday January 01, 2003

Roanoke, VA - Sterling and Marlin (TWINS) are coming to live in Martinsville. And in a race early Wednesday morning..."Sterling"... "Marlin" was the winner. You might say Sterling Marlin has already won the first race of the New Year.

No, not Sterling Marlin the NASCAR Race driver... but rather Baby Sterling and Baby Marlin… TWINS.

Gwendetta Jamison, Mother of Sterling and Marlin - "Who knew, who knew, they rolled me into the O.R. about 12:00 and they said you're coming, New Year's baby… took me about five minutes to get him out."

Sterling was first born at 12:21… Marlin came 19 minutes later. Gwendetta Jamison loves racing, but it was Dad who decided to name the twins after his favorite NASCAR driver. Gwendetta - "I like it, it's unusual, I like it." Gwendetta Jamison has a twin sister herself and her Aunt also has a twin… so "Sterling" and "Marlin" weren't a real surprise. Linda Jamison, Grandmother of Sterling and Marlin, "When she found out she was pregnant she was sick a lot and I told her she was going to have twins, she said, No, I said, yes you're going to have twins, and she went to the doctor that day and they took an ultrasound and she came back and she was crying and I said, 'what's wrong' and she said, 'look!' and I said, 'it looks like twins, so I was happy, I was happy!"But if Grandma had her way, the names may have been something different. Jamison says she doesn't know if there is a future in racing for Sterling and Marlin… but Sterling already seems to be handling this attention quite well.

Sterling Jamison, New Year's Baby, "Whaaaa." And for the record... Sterling weighed in at five pounds, 13 ounces... and Marlin tipped the scales at six pounds, one and a half ounces.

Copyright 2003 WSET, Inc.
Reporter: Dan West Posted by Jeff Taylor


"There is a reluctance of people to come forward" - Det Supt Dave Mirfield
Shooting witnesses fear reprisals GMT, 4 Jan 2003
Police investigating the murders of two girls gunned down at a New Year party say witnesses are too afraid to come forward.

Charlene Ellis, 18, (TWIN) and Latisha Shakespear, 17, died in a hail of bullets in the early hours of last Thursday morning. Charlene's twin sister Sophie, also hit, is now under armed guard in hospital, where her condition is described as stable after undergoing surgery. A total of £35,000 in reward money is on offer but officers said people with information feared reprisals from those involved in the killings.
Detective Superintendent David Mirfield hinted at police frustration when he rated the response to appeals for witnesses as "reasonable".
"There is a reluctance of people to come forward. Whether that is fear, or whether that is a reluctance to speak to police, I don't know," he added.
Detectives are working on a theory that a feud between rival gangs exploded into the deadly firefight at the party held at a Birmingham hairdressers' salon.
Another victim, 17-year-old Cheryl Shaw, has been released from hospital following treatment for a gunshot wound to one of her hands.The four teenagers - who are all related - were caught in the crossfire when the shooting broke out at the rear of Uniseven Studios, in Birchfield Road. Only hours earlier, the sisters and their two cousins had posed together for a photograph in front of a Christmas tree before leaving for the party.
Relatives of the "inseparable" twins were said to be too devastated to talk about the tragedy yesterday. Det Supt Dave Mirfield said: "These girls were not members of any gang. They were merely on a night out with friends. "My overwhelming thoughts are that these girls are innocent and were caught up in an exchange of fire.
"It could be gang-related. I would not be naive enough to think it would not be."
Officers have established that more than 30 9mm rounds were fired from more than one gun, including at least one sub-machine gun. CCTV footage retrieved from the rear of the parade of shops is being studied with footage from several locations around the city, which officers hope will help them trace the fleeing gunmen.
Detectives believe up to 100 people were present at the party, but many had fled by the time officers arrived, leaving only around 30 revellers at the scene.

Twin set born: One in '02, other in '03


Twins Caleigh and Emily Johnson have a lot in common but not their birthday - they arrived in different years.

It all started when Dawn Johnson, 34, of Barnegat, N.J., went into labor Tuesday night and was rushed to Kimball Medical Center in nearby Lakewood. There, Caleigh was born at 11:24 p.m. Dec.31. Emily came into the world at 12:19 a.m. Jan.1. "They're perfect," the proud new mom said yesterday. "Even though they're twins, I wanted them to have their own separate identities. They proved it right from the start." The babies, who arrived a month early, are healthy, and doctors said they are awaiting test results to determine whether they are identical or fraternal twins. Caleigh weighed in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. Emily tipped the scales at 6 pounds, 8 ounces. The strangest coincidence of all? Their dad said he predicted the split-year birthdays. Geoff Johnson, a twin himself, picked their birthdays as New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in a $1-a-pop pool with his co-workers at Sweet Jenny's Restaurant in Barnegat. "I don't know if it was twin intuition," said Geoff Johnson, 27. The prediction looked like a 1,000-to-1 shot Tuesday as the couple planned for a subdued New Year's Eve at home. Dawn Johnson's due date was Feb. 2, so when she felt abdominal pains, she just thought it was part of the pregnancy. But about 7:30 p.m., she knew it was real labor. "It was just, 'Boom,'" said Dawn Johnson, a teacher. The couple drove to the hospital, where nature quickly took its course. Caleigh made her appearance as hundreds of thousands of revelers cheered the impending new year in Times Square. Nurses and aides skipped the bubbly to urge Dawn Johnson to finish the job with Emily. "Happy New Year," they said. "Push!" Originally published on January 3, 2003

Twins Said More Identical Than Clones

Identical Twins Are More Identical Than Clones Will Ever Be, Says Expert
The Associated Press

NEW YORK Dec. 29 - The idea of cloning a person brings up fantastic notions, not all of them scary.Imagine a team of Michael Jordan clones on the basketball court, or a clone of Mozart taking up where the original genius left off, just some of the ideas that could spring up following Friday's still-unproven claim of the birth of the first human clone. But if you want a reality check, look into the Hutchinson, Kan., home of Holly and Noel Adcock.They're 10-year-old identical twins. So, just like a clone and its progenitor, they have identical genes.They do look alike; even teachers mix them up. But Noel is about five pounds lighter than Holly. Noel has pierced ears; Holly isn't interested. Noel is the more mechanically minded and "definitely more of a go-getter," says their mother, Mary. Holly is "more laid-back, she's more the peacemaker." Identical twins are strikingly similar in many ways, but Noel, Holly and a bundle of research shows that even they aren't completely alike. And scientists who study how genes shape us say that's an important lesson for trying to predict how much a human clone will resemble its progenitor. The bottom line: Don't expect a replica.

If the claim made last week by Clonaid is proven, baby "Eve" as the company calls her will not be a carbon copy of her mother, the woman from whom she allegedly was cloned. For all their differences, "identical twins are more identical than clones will ever be," says Robert Plomin of the Institute of Psychiatry in London.

As a group, identical twins are in fact more similar to each other in personality than ordinary siblings or fraternal twins, who develop from two separate eggs. That's true even when the identical twins are reared apart, says Nancy L. Segal, director of the Twin Studies Center at California State University, Fullerton.So that shows a clear influence of genes, she says. But even identical twins are influenced by nongenetic factors starting with the womb and extending to parents, friends, opportunities in life, chance occurrences that influence who we are. Since a clone and its progenitor would be born into different families at different times, these nongenetic factors could be expected to be more powerful. And in the case of identical twins, there are also some genetic differences that are surprising. Schizophrenia is clearly influenced by genes, for example. But if one identical twin has schizophrenia, the chance that the other also has it is only about 45 percent to 50 percent.

Not even physical traits like height and weight are perfectly duplicated between pairs of identical twins, Plomin said. Height is among the most heavily influenced by genes, but "you get identical twins who differ by four inches," he added.

Studies show that, in general, the correlation between identical twins is strong for height, less strong for IQ, lesser still for weight and then personality, Plomin said. Studies show that sexual and religious attitudes exhibit the same level of genetic influence as personality, while attitudes on taxes and politics appear less influenced by genes, said Segal, author of "Entwined Lives: Twins and What They Tell Us About Human Behavior."Segal cautions that these findings are only population averages and can't predict anything about similarities between individual clones and their progenitors.But it could be that the degree of similarity for various traits will roughly follow the pattern seen in identical twins, she said."You're not going to get a perfect replica," she said.

"The idea we're going to take Michael Jordan and make a fantastic sports team ... it's just not reasonable at all."


SINGAPORE, Malaysia (Reuters) --

Singapore doctors said on Thursday a unique operation to separate Iranian sisters joined at the head for 28 years was feasible but the final decision to split the twins would lie with the women themselves.
Twins fused at the head occur once in every two million live births, and successful separation is even rarer. Singapore doctors performed the operation last year on infant girls from Nepal. Experts say an operation on adult twins is unprecedented.
"They have given us strong indication that they want to go ahead but the final decision will be based on the surgical strategy," Raffles Hospital neurosurgeon Keith Goh, who will head the medical team, told Reuters on Thursday.
"They want to know everything about it and then decide whether they accept or reject that plan," Goh said. He said most of the tests had been completed.
"The operation is possible. There are several plans that we are considering which will give the least amount of risk," Goh said. He said the decision would probably be made within weeks.
Laleh and Ladan Bijani arrived in Singapore on November 20 in hopes of eventually leading separate lives.
The petite sisters, who have two separately functioning brains encased in one skull, had spent weeks undergoing tests in the city state.
They said differences between them pushed them to think about separation five years ago.
"We are two completely separate individuals who are stuck to each other," Ladan, the more extroverted of the sisters, told a news conference in December.
We have different world views, we have different lifestyles, we think very differently about issues."
Doctors are grappling with issues of medical ethics, legal consent and arrangements for the twins' post-operative care.
The law graduate sisters, who occasionally suffer from severe headaches, were turned away by German doctors in 1996 after tests showed that separating them could be fatal.
The sisters were "extremely upbeat," Goh said, but the twins will be left with a one-and-a-half palm-size cavity at the side of their heads if surgery does go ahead and risk death or permanent brain damage.
The operation is expected to cost around $300,000 but doctors are donating their services.
In April 2001, doctors at Singapore General Hospital separated the fused skulls and intertwined brains of 11-month-old Nepali girls Jamuna and Ganga Shrestha in a four-day operation. Goh was the lead surgeon for the Nepali twins.


The recent separation of a conjoined twins at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, OAUTH, Ile-ife Osun state, gives another credence to the
fact that the country's doctors can indeed hold their head high in any part of the world.

The twins, conjoined at the abdomen, were born by spontaneous vaginal delivery at a private hospital in Akure, Ondo State on 20 October, 2002. Upon opening up the twins at surgery, their livers were also discovered to be joined.

They were successfully separated in a three hour operation on Monday 27 January by a team of doctors led by prof. Olusanya Adeguyigbe, the provost,
college of health sciences, OAU. The twins are said to be recuperating well.

This particular feat is the second by the hospital. In may, last year, another set of Siamese twins were successful separated by doctors at the OAUTH.

Source of information: Odion Eremionkhale Executive Director

Mother of twins convicted of running over husband

HOUSTON (Feb. 14) - A jury sentenced Clara Harris to 20 years in prison Friday - her 11th wedding anniversary - for mowing down her cheating husband with her Mercedes-Benz after catching him with his lover.

The 45-year-old dentist, who could have received a life sentence, drew a lesser penalty after jurors decided she was driven by ''sudden passion'' to repeatedly run over David Harris in a suburban Houston hotel parking lot July 24.

Harris sobbed, burying her face in her hands, then leaned into the lap of one of her attorneys after the verdict was read. Her attorneys gathered around her to comfort her as she wept.

Harris was convicted Thursday of murdering her orthodontist husband after finding him with his mistress and former receptionist last July at the same hotel where the Harrises wed on Valentine's Day 1992.

Harris' lawyer George Parnham had requested probation, saying the Harrises' twin sons need their mother, whom he described as ''a good mother and a good wife.''

Prosecutor Mia Magness said Harris was using her sons as a ''shield'' to gain probation. She urged prison time, though she made no specific recommendation about the length of a sentence.

''She ought not get credit for making herself a single parent,'' the prosecutor told jurors. ''She did that when she made the choice to kill their dad. It's not fair to dangle those two boys out in front of you the way that she has.''

Jurors deliberated for six hours before returning with their verdict, which also included a $10,000 fine. The same nine-woman, three-man jury deliberated about eight hours before returning the murder conviction.

Parnham argued that Clara Harris acted out of sudden passion. He suggested that the victim himself would have wanted his wife to receive probation and continue raising their twin 4-year-old sons.

David Harris' father, mother and brother ''don't want those boys ripped away from the last parent that they have on this Earth,'' Parnham said. ''What I want you to think about is what, based on all of the evidence in this case, what would David want?''

Lindsey Harris, David Harris' 17-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, was in the passenger seat when he was killed.

Tears welled in the prosecutor's eyes and her voice quavered as she described how Lindsey Harris retrieved her father's clothes from a trash can where her stepmother instructed they be thrown, then took the clothing into her bedroom to ''feel like he was there with me.''

''Her life is forever changed, and she didn't even get to say goodbye,'' Magness said.

AP-NY-02-14-03 1833EST


Tues, Dec3, 2002
Few would volunteer to do time in Russia

Two brothers from a set of triplets fooled prison authorities in Russia when one of them ended up behind bars. One of the brothers, named only as Roman by Russia's newsru website, swapped places with his twin, Ruslan, to give him a brief taste of freedom. But once outside, Ruslan showed no intention of going back in, and ran off with his brother's girlfriend. It took years for the authorities to realise they had been duped but by that time they had already caught up, albeit unwittingly, with the fickle Ruslan again. It had only taken a quick change of clothes back in 1992 for Roman to take Ruslan's place in prison but he ended up serving the whole sentence.

When his time was up, Roman, whose family hailed from the southern region of Chuvashia, headed off to Moscow, still keeping his treacherous brother Ruslan's name. But Roman brushed with the law for real in the capital and ended up back behind bars. Upon his release, Roman headed back to Chuvashia where he ran into the police yet again. This time they compared his fingerprints with his brother's and realised the mix-up. Meanwhile, the real Ruslan's taste of freedom did not last: despite his newly acquired clean record, Ruslan got into trouble with the law again and ended up back in prison.


By Amy Potter
Kansan Staff Writer
Twin brothers Oliver & Nicholas Komar had a love of birds

Twenty years later, the brothers have found their paths crossing yet again. Both work on West Nile virus research. Oliver is now a graduate research assistant at the University of Kansas and Nicholas is a microbiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Colorado. "I would say we discovered when we were teenagers that we really enjoyed studying birds. Both of us looked for ways to make that a part of our careers," Oliver said. "Surprisingly, we both found it." The twins designed an ecological study of screech owls as high school students in Massachusetts. The results of their study were published in the regional journal Bird Observer in 1982. They hope to publish an article in the CDC´s journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases on their collaborative research. Their article is about their research in the Dominican Republic last November. Though the twins both work on the West Nile virus, they have different areas of specialty. Nicholas works with vertebrate hosts and how the virus persists in the environment. Oliver studies endangered species of birds in order to create plans of conservation. "West Nile is a biological problem just like any other ecological problem." Oliver said. "We love doing science, asking questions and finding the answers to them." The twins not only do research on the same subject matter, but share another commonality as well. "We´re both married to Salvadorian women who are sisters," Nicholas said. Oliver met his wife at his brother´s wedding. "I went to the wedding in San Salvador. I was the best man. Six years later I married the maid of honor," Oliver said. Nicholas said he does not find these commonalities unusual. "I think that´s probably typical of twins who grew up in the same surroundings to share a lot of interests," Nicholas said. "We have similar personalities." -edited by Ryan wood

-- Jonathan Aubry learned things about his father he could not have were it not for a common experience--serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation.

Jonathan Aubry, a 23-year-old Marine lance corporal from Las Vegas, and his father, Bill, a former Marine from Sacramento, stand almost like bookends for the Constellation. Bill Aubry sailed on the carrier's second deployment in the 1960s during the Vietnam War. Now his son is aboard, sailing in the Persian Gulf on what is scheduled to be the carrier's last voyage, amid an intensifying U.S. military buildup around Iraq.

Father and son held the same job, too, working as a "plane captain," the mechanic responsible for keeping a fighter jet airworthy. The father worked with the famous "Black Sheep" squadron; the son is attached to the "Death Rattlers," or VMFA-323 squadron.

Despite the similar footsteps, Aubry's father began to share some of his experiences only after his son brought him aboard the Constellation a year ago.
"He was pretty choked up by the whole thing. It probably brought a lot of memories back--not just from the Constellation, but from the Vietnam War," Aubry said. "He told me a lot of stuff about Vietnam that I don't think he even told my mother." His father received a Bronze Star in 1965 for heroic action in Vietnam, Aubry said. "He actually took me around the ship. It was pretty remarkable that he remembered. He showed me a lot of stuff. He took me to the mess hall. It was shocking what kind of memories you can get by stepping on something familiar. "He noticed the minor changes. He said the berthing [sleeping] areas were much nicer," said Aubry, who added that he thought there was still room for improvement.
`Golden shellback'
The dad became a "shellback" on the Constellation--one who crosses the equator on a warship. The son became a "golden shellback" on the carrier--one who crosses the equator and international dateline simultaneously, at "zero-zero time," he said.
"So I outrank him," Aubry said.
Jonathan Aubry has a twin brother, Joseph, also a Marine; he is a corporal and ordnance technician in Yuma, Ariz. The twins graduated together from the same boot camp on the same date that their father had graduated decades earlier, June 4.
Dad is likely to get one last look at the Constellation.
"I think I'll bring him on it one more time, before they bring her up to Washington [state], where she's going to be mothballed," Jonathan said.
Copyright © 2003, The Chicago Tribune


New Moms Say They Will Depend On Family, Church Until Husbands Come Home
POSTED: 4:56 p.m. EST April 4, 2003./UPDATED: 8:17 a.m. EST April 5, 2003
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- As the war continues, so does life at home, which means many military spouses are doing things on their own. Two new mothers are dealing with twins while their husbands are off at war.

Misty Marks is the proud new mother of twins. Olivia and Isiah were born Friday at Womack Army Medical Center. They came a month early, but their dad has no idea. The soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division is fighting in Iraq.
"Since I've known so long it would happen without him, I was prepared, but it was sad, still sad, but I was also happy at the same time," she said.

Marks said she has not heard from her husband in seven weeks. With his wedding ring hanging close to her heart, she delivered with the wife of another deployed soldier by her side. Through the Red Cross, she hopes he will get the word soon.

Trisha Omolo's husband was present for the birth of their twins. For two months, Spc. Allan Omolo was on standby to deploy. He found out he would leave Thursday, the same day Elijah and Abigail came into the world. He left four hours later.

"I'm glad he got to see them, but that was hard, definitely hard because I didn't get to go to his farewell," she said. Both women have other children and say they will now rely on their churches and military families for help.

DOUBLE DUTY: Twin brothers are proud to be serving in Iraq

Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Rogers and his identical twin, Mathew, were called up for duty in January, two of the 180 Marine Corps reservists based in Greensboro who were activated. The following is an excerpt of an e-mail message sent to the Winston-Salem Journal this week by Nathaniel Rogers, who is from Arcadia:
We both made it over here safely and are currently safe as well.
I haven't seen my brother in about two weeks as they split us up about a week before the conflict started. We are both playing a vital role in keep communications up between our front lines and our support units to make sure everyone has the supplies they need to make this war a success.

I can tell you that I have never been more proud to be a Marine before now. I know that I am doing my part to fight the "War on Terror" and to remove a madman from power. I know my brother and every other Marine out here feels the same way. I would like to use President Ronald Reagan's quote: "Many people go through life wondering if they have made a difference, The United States Marines don't have that problem." And we don't.
Each Marine out here knows that we are defending freedom and granting freedom to those who want it. You can see it on the faces of the people out here as we go by. They are happy to have us here. They want Saddam out of power and know that we can do that for them.
We are giving them what Americans have always enjoyed, a chance to live their lives. Which some Americans have evidently taken for granted. These protesters need to realize that if it wasn't for us, they would not have the ability to protest in the first place. Tell those protesters to go to the home of every service member who has died out here and tell their families they don't believe in us or what we are doing. I can go to sleep at night knowing I am making a difference in this world. Can they?
We do know that most of America is behind us. I myself received a letter from a girl at Washington Middle School thanking me for defending our country. I did write her back to let her know that it was the least I could do and that I was happy to do it.... I try to check my e-mail when I get the chance and it would be nice to find out more about how the public feels about this at home.


LOUISE Noden has more reason than most to worry about the troops fighting in the Gulf - her boyfriend and twin sister are both serving there.
Louise, 23, served alongside them until she left the Army in January and is now frantically studying news coverage for any information about their unit.
Boyfriend Stuart Ankers, 25, and twin Tracy are both lance bombardiers in the 3rd Royal Horse Artillery and are thought to be in southern Iraq near Basra.
Louise, who was born just 52 minutes before her sister, says her greatest fear is that one or both of them will be captured, after seeing the frightened faces of captured US soldiers paraded on TV.
Louise, of Gorton, who was with the 3RHA for four years and previously stationed in Germany with Stuart and Tracy, said: "They came home for a weekend in February and when they went back we knew they would be going to the Gulf. I don't think it hit me that they were going to war until they left.

"I just said `take care and if you get near any action just run away and hide'. It was very hard saying goodbye. Stu was excited but Tracy is a bit more sensible. I don't worry as much about her, she has the rest of the family to worry about her.
"I spoke to Stu last Tuesday and he knew it was going to start then. He didn't tell me but I knew he was scared, he was very quiet. Tracy wrote saying she was really scared, she is worried their wagon will break down and she will get captured."

Louise, who now works in customer services at the Royal Mail, in Salford Quays, said she did not even know where 3rd Royal Horse Artillery were until she spotted it in a newspaper report.
"It was hard because we haven't seen anything about 3RHA and that makes you worry," said Louise. "Having been in the army it is better for me because I know what they are doing. They are both signallers and are not fighting in the streets, but I also know the dangers they face."

Louise, who served with Stuart in Bosnia, added: "If something happened to him and it was friendly fire it would be terrible, I think about that all the time. Every one of my friends is out there.

"I wrote to Stu and said I wish I was there, not because I want to be in a war but because it would make me feel better to know he was all right.

"I just want this war to be over - I can't go through another weekend sitting in front of the TV. I don't even want to go out."


serviceman killed during an attack in Kuwait grew up in Carrollwood and is remembered as being funny and brave. His twin brother is also serving in the marines
By TIM GRANT, Times Staff Writer/© St. Petersburg Times/published October 10, 2002

TAMPA -- At 19, Antonio Sledd was so proud to be a Marine that he got his twin brother to enlist.
Neighbors in the quiet suburb where the Sledd boys grew up remembered the one called Tony coming home from boot camp and training twin brother Mike for the rigors of Semper Fi. They recalled two slender young men jogging through the quiet streets early mornings and late nights.
"They were nice boys," said neighbor Maxine France.
Today, the Sledd brothers are coming home again. One will be laid to rest. The other will say a final goodbye.
Lance Cpl. Antonio Sledd, 20, was killed Tuesday by two Kuwaiti civilians who opened fire on members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary who were training in the Persian Gulf.
Sledd's body will be flown home within 24 hours, a spokesman for the 5th Fleet said Wednesday.
Mike Sledd, now a Marine stationed in Japan, will be allowed to return home for his brother's funeral, according to his aunt Iris Figueroa, a teacher at Gaither High School.
Sledd's parents, Thomas D. and Norma Sledd, learned of his death Tuesday from government officials who visited their Carrollwood home around noon.
A family friend who answered the door told reporters Wednesday that the Sledds did not wish to make a statement.
Antonio Sledd, whom family members called funny and brave, and who loved football and basketball, had not been in Kuwait long. Iris Figueroa recalled a day about two weeks ago when she was in the Sledd kitchen with her sister, the twins' mother. The phone rang and it was Tony, calling to tell them he was shipping out to Kuwait.
"It was kind of a goodbye, telling us that he loved us very much.
"I can't describe what I felt yesterday," Figueroa said Wednesday. "For me, it was like the world was falling apart, that the world stopped for a moment. I couldn't think anymore. I just felt this terrible pain in my heart."
Sledd grew up on Capitol Drive, a street lined with tidy middle-class homes, many with American flags on garage doors and mailboxes. Thomas and Norma Sledd are both nurses at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, according to a neighbor and a co-worker. The Sledds' white and red brick home is a reflection of Thomas Sledd's obsession with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Their mailbox displays a U.S. flag next to a Razorback hog.
Antonio Sledd graduated from Gaither High School in 2000 and attended a semester at Hillsborough Community College, according to neighbor Tim Regan, whose son was close to the brothers.
His cousin Dana Padilla said that part of Antonio Sledd's dream was to follow his dad to the University of Arkansas. He wanted to earn a degree in criminology and become an FBI agent. "One day he came to the house saying he needed to get some money for college and he would join the service," Regan said. "The next thing I knew, he was off.
"When Tony came back from boot camp, his brother was working odd jobs and not really doing anything. And he convinced Mike to join, too."
Sledd entered the Marine Corps on Jan. 10, 2001, military records show. He was promoted twice, making lance corporal Feb. 1, 2002. He was based in Southern California at Camp Pendleton.
He was assigned to Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He stayed in close touch with his family. According to his cousin, Sledd's last words to them were, "Tell everybody I love them and we're doing our best to protect y'alls country. Love, Big T."
"For him," Figueroa said, "his country was the most beautiful thing."
In his 21 months in the Marines, Sledd received two awards. The National Defense Service medal is given to members of the military who serve during a time of conflict. Sledd also received a Deployment Ribbon for serving more than 90 days outside the United States.
U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, D-Tampa, who led a moment of silence on the House floor in Sledd's memory, issued a statement of sympathy.
"America's service men and women, like Antonio, put their lives on the line each and every day to protect our way of life," Davis said.

In Touch With WI Marines

West Islip twins Robert and William Parengkuan have been activated as Marine Reservists and are in Kuwait. Familiar faces around the neighborhood, Robbie and Billy are members of the Class of 1997, and, say neighbors, have been role models for the younger generation. So it was with great interest and concern that the community's children began to write letters to the brothers.

At the Westbrook Elementary School, where the boys and their dad, Arnie, had attended classes, the students and staff quickly learned that Robbie and Billy were among the first servicemen to be sent to the Persian Gulf area and just as quickly, organized a campaign to show support. Reading teacher Linda Caputo, a neighbor of the Parengkuans, suggested everyone stay in touch with the boys and their family, saying, "They're fine young men, whom I've known since they were eight."

Gifts, cards and letters have been sent to the brothers and yellow ribbons are on display in the area of the Parengkuan's home, all of which are appreciated by the boys' parents, Dot and Arnie, and sister, Lori. They ask that support be extended to all service people deployed during the war.


MARIANNA, Fla., March 18, 2003
Cristina, Jessica and Melissa Buchanan (CBS/The Early Show)

(CBS) Cristina, Jessica and Melissa Buchanan are identical 19-year-old triplets from Blountstown, Fla., who joined the National Guard and have just been called to active duty. They are leaving to go to Ft. Stewart, Ga., for training and from there, they will go overseas. Holding the hands of her sisters with a tight grip, Pvt. Jessica Buchanan told The Early Show's Harry Smith why the three are in the military.

"When it was my idea to join," she said, "I wasn't going to do it by myself, so I just kind of told them they had to go with me or I wasn't going to do it at all. And they were willing to go with me, sir." Jessica is the middle sister of the triplets, each born a minute apart on Dec. 29, 1983. Military officials have been cautious about putting siblings in the same combat unit since the Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa, died after their ship, the Navy cruiser USS Juneau, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942. That was among the incidents that inspired director Steven Spielberg to make the movie "Saving Private Ryan." But Cristina Buchanan said the trio is staying together: "They'd have had a hard time getting us split up anyway."

The triplets joined the reserves shortly after turning 17, when there was no sign of war on the horizon. "We had had this class in my school and a recruiter came and told us about the National Guard," Jessica said. "And the National Guard in the state of Florida offers 100 percent tuition. So that was our main reason why we joined the National Guard. But it was a great experience for us and a good opportunity for anyone to join up." Standing at about 5-foot-3 and weighing 110 pounds, the triplets are trained to haul supplies to be used on the front line. "Our unit specializes in transportation," Melissa explained. She is best at physical training, Jessica pointed out. While Jessica is best at handling weapons. "I know I'm not the best at driving. But I certainly do try hard at it," she said.

Now that they know they are leaving Florida, Melissa said, "We're just real excited. Kind of nervous about not knowing where we're going or where we'll end up. But we're just excited and ready to do our jobs."
© MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

David Bloom - 39, NBC Reporter, Daddy of Twin Dies in Iraq

NEW YORK, April 6 (UPI) -- NBC reporter David Bloom who was covering the war in Iraq as an embedded journalist has died, the network said Sunday. NBC said his death was not combat related.Bloom was covering the war in Iraq embedded with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division outside Baghdad.He was the co-anchor of the weekend editions of "Today" show and served as the network's White House correspondent. Bloom made his name covering the O.J. Simpson trial and the recovery efforts at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington."He was very involved in the whole process," said Stacy Brady, NBC's vice president of network news operations. "Just from his reporting experience, he added in a lot of requirements or needs that he thought would be essential for this to work."According to NBC, a native of Edina, Minn., Bloom is survived by his wife, Melanie, and their three daughters, 9-year-old twins Nicole and Christine, and three-year-old, Ava.
He is the sixth journalist to die in Iraq since the war began, though his death was not combat-related. He died after suffering a pulmonary embolism.

Copyright © 2001-2003 United Press International


Two twin sisters aged 2 yrs met with a train accident and died on the spot. When their mother went for a bath, somebody came begging and kept the gate opened. The children walked out and reached the nearby railway track. One passenger train came and hit them, and they died on the spot. Their unfortunate father, Mr. Hamzappa is working at Dubai. The sisters names are Aisyath Jazna and Fathimath Thazna.

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