Their smiles light up a room. Their squeals and giggles will brighten your day. But their circumstances are unique.
"We had twins 11 years ago, brought them home from the hospital didn't know anything was wrong," said mom Julie McDonough. "About a week later Kadi started turning blue on us. So we took her back to Wesley. Then a week later Abbey started to turn blue. We bounced in and out of Wesley for quite a while.
Six months later, the found out what was wrong. The fraternal twins had Emanuel Syndrome, a rare disorder associated with multiple congenital anomalies.
"It hadn't been studied that much back then, we didn't know much about it just they knew that's what they had," she said.
She did lots of research and reached out to other parents with kids who had ES.
"I have a Facebook group with moms of other kids who have ES. There's only about 500 in the world, so it's very rare. It's like 1 and 12 million. I've got the only set of twins with it who are fraternal, there's two other sets of twins with it that are identical and then there are two other sets of twin where one has it and the other doesn't."
The twins aren't able to walk on their own and can't communicate verbally. Most everyday tasks have to be an effort between them, their parents and their nurse. As they continue to grow, they are outgrowing their bedroom.
"They're in one bedroom now," their mom said. "You can't access it with a lift. Kadi weighs about 65 pounds and Abbey weighs about 60, and they're only going to get bigger and heavier."
So their friends and family are "flocking out" to help fund the family revamping their garage into a wheelchair accessible bedroom and bathroom.
"We are doing what’s called a flamingo fundraiser and we are taking a flock of flamingos and we put them in someone’s yard in the evening and we’re kind of 'ding-dong-ditching' so we put a flier we created in the door," said family member April Pridgin.
On the flier are instructions for who to contact to remove the flock, how to donate, and then a way they can "flock" a friend or a neighbor.
"We've gotten a lot of phone calls from people," said Pridgin. "It's been very touching and motivating to see the love that people have for people they don't even know."
The family is also in need of a wheelchair accessible van, which as you can imagine is quite pricey. At 60+ pounds each, getting each girl into their suburban can prove to be a difficult task.
"The girls are incredible," said Pridgin. "The love in this house is just absolutely overwhelming."
If you'd like to make a donation you can send it to:
- McDonough Twins, 759 Windrose St. Haysville, KS 67060
Or call: (316) 573-5500
Make checks payable to: McDonough Twins