McDonald Twins and Family

$332,602 of $300k goal

Raised by 5,639 people in 19 months
Nicole McDonald  CHARLESTON, IL

6164937_1451074923.252_funddescription.jMy husband, Christian, my 2 year old son, Aza and I were living a simple life. When I found out I was pregnant in March 2015, we were elated.  At 17 weeks pregnant, I had a routine ultrasound where we found out we were having twins. We were sent home, in shock, but so excited. Our biggest worry was that we would need to buy a van. We had about an hour of daydreaming before I was called back to have a repeat ultrasound done.  Every pregnant mother's nightmare. It was on that day, in that dark room, that our whole life changed. I was informed that I was pregnant with craniopagus twins, which in normal language means twins who are joined at the head.  I was given the option on many occasions to abort my precious babies. I kindly declined. I had heard their heart beats...they spent their life listening to mine.  It was my job as their mother to give them life and I decided that I would give everything up, if need be, to do so. Miracles happen...and there is one (really, two :))  unfolding before our very eyes.

Here is our story...
I cried for 2 hours after I found out. My mind was flooded with questions, with doubts, with fears, but then, with hope. I began researching and called in our troops (our amazing family that keeps everything going even when things seem impossible) and I set my mind on things above. In researching, I found a surgeon in New York that had separated twins like mine before ( I now know he's done this 17 times). I stopped crying tears of fear that day and never looked back. (With one exception, I sobbed when I went through my son's closet and realized all his shirts went over his head...sometimes it's the little things that pull at your heart strings.)

I went into labor at 32 weeks gestation on 9/9/15. An emergency c-section was performed and the boys were brought into this world at 11:11 pm. (Notice the doubles...) They are some of the only sets of twins in the world6164937_1451073740.3418_funddescription.born at exactly the same time. The boys were immediately taken from me and put into the NICU at RUSH in Chicago.  We had many names picked out but it was ultimately up to my husband to have the final choice. As they stitched me up, he went in to see them and came back with their names.

Jadon (jay-den) which means God has heard. Anias (A-nye-us) which means God has answered. We gave our worries to God that day.

6164937_1451076054.4525_funddescription.Anias, above, was intubated for about 3 days, before being quickly weaned to room air. Jadon, below, was on CPAP for a while.

6164937_1451076135.158_funddescription.jOne baby weighed around 3lbs while the other was about 4lbs. They were so tiny. So. Perfect.
Everything seemed to be going well in those first few weeks. Anias was on room air with an OG tube for feedings. Jadon was on oxygen and had an OG for feedings. He had some bouts of blood in his belly but was our little trooper and healed up quickly.

6164937_1451081973.3924_funddescription.Anias, above. 
The prospects of going home seemed hopeful. We started talking about car beds and transportation options. We were ecstatic. You see, we live 70 miles from RUSH. The drive, one way, can take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3 hours depending on traffic. Our days were a blur. Christian would get up at 3 am for work, me and Aza up by 5:30. Aza to (insert family member's name here)'s house by 9 or 10 am, to the hospital by 12. Christian pick up Aza at 4 or 5. Me home by 8 to put Aza to bed. Repeat. It was strenuous and poor little Aza was missing mommy and daddy. Prior to this I had quit my job as a pediatric physical therapist to be with Aza as much as possible. No one else had ever even put him to bed before except for a handful of times. This was rocking his world too.

6164937_1451082482.6701_funddescription.Aza was the stars in my sky...one of the lights of my life. And I missed him too. I felt guilty everywhere I was, either missing him or missing the babies. 

The biggest issues the babies had at this time was maintaining body temperature, eating, and jaundice. The went under the bili lights for days. 

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And then one day, everything went downhill. Anias started having trouble breathing. Because of the way he was positioned in my belly, his chin was against his chest and his jaw couldn't grow. His airway was also constricted. As he required more oxygen for day to day life, his breathing got worse and worse, until eventually he was back on oxygen. Even on oxygen, his vitals would tank, and multiple times a day he would turn blue and pass out from lack of oxygen in his blood. It was beyond awful to witness.

6164937_1451083735.8369_funddescription.Anias on his worst day. I thought we might lose him this day. Anias is also the dominant twin, working hard for both of them because the majority of the blood vessel that is shared between them is his. 

All the while, Jadon is doing perfectly and ready to come home. What a patient, sweet little boy.

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 Now it's been almost 4 grueling months and we are still in the same routine. Anias is growing and doing much better. Still on oxygen and just starting to eat by mouth. He's been such a fighter.6164937_1451083465.2425_funddescription.
Since the day they were born, these boys have had every test under the sun. They've had blood draws, blood transfusions, IVs, echocardiograms, kidney scans, ultrasounds of their heads, a CT scan, an MRI, multiple xrays. Anias has had swallow studies, scopes of his airways, multiple types of oxygen support. The list goes on and on. The MRI results show that the boys share a small section of brain tissue (about 1.5cm), the dura around the brain, and the middle section of their superior sagittal sinus (the large vein that runs along the top of the brain). They've been poked and prodded more than I could have ever imagined, and the worst part is that I can't even hold them when they cry.  Instead, I press my cheek against theirs and whisper in their ears that it's going to be ok. I hold their hands and rub their backs. I crawl up in their hospital crib and lay with them.  Occasionally, we take them for wagon rides around the NICU.

6164937_1451085162.505_funddescription.jJadon loves wagon rides.

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And this is just chapter 1. In the next year, the boys will undergo a series of surgeries to slowly reroute the blood flow between their brains. This will hopefully provide each boy with adequate blood flow to each separate brain. They will do a craniotomy for each step and clamp off various veins to control the blood flow to each brain. Then they will insert tissue expanders under the boys scalps and slowly fill them with saline to stretch their skin so they have enough to cover the area after separation. Then, the separation and reconstruction surgery takes place.

So here are the statistics. Craniopagus twins occur in 1 in every ten million live births. There are four million births in the US every year. So far in all of my research I have yet to find a set of twins like mine born in the United States in the last 20 years. There is a surgeon in New York who travels the world to separate twins like mine. He has consulted with 18 pairs of twins and operated on many of them. Besides him there is really no one with experience in this type surgery. We will be going to New York in January to consult with him and his team at Montefiore Medical Center.

My pictures will always depict my boys as separate because that's what they are to me. Their faces are so beautiful. I would hate for people to get caught up in the bridge between them.

Until they are separated, my boys will never sit up. I won't be able to put them up on my shoulder and hold them. They will struggle with eating. I can't just swoop them up and snuggle them. All the things you take for granted with a typical baby, I yearn for. 

When this all began, back in that dark ultrasound room, I knew we were in for a battle, but I also knew that with God anything is possible. Our faith continues to grow as we watch God work out blessing after blessing in our life. We are eternally grateful for all of you who have donated, sent messages, sent cards, and prayers. Without you, we'd be sunk. Thank you for renewing our faith in the goodness of man. With much love,
The McDonald's 

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Update 29
Posted by Nicole McDonald
4 days ago
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Part 1 4/25/17 Update:
The cursor is flashing in front of me and I’m not sure where to start. To be honest, I’ve been avoiding writing lately because of the state of my heart. But when I was confronted with the 3000 unread messages in my Facebook account a few days ago, I realized that I needed to crawl out of my hole and do the good service of giving all of you wonderful people an update on the boys.
Usually when I sit down to write, my goal is to provide information on the boys’ status and to encourage those who may need a boost. Frankly, the last few months have built a wall of discouragement around me, trial by trial, brick by brick. I haven’t had the heart to update because I knew I would not be able to break down the wall and provide encouragement through my discouragement. Today I realized that it’s not all roses and rainbows, and sometimes you can encourage by sharing the dark side, and so, that’s what I’m going to do today.
I’ll start by saying this: Discouragement does not correlate with ingratitude. Every single day I thank God for carrying us through our trial, for healing through the impossible, for providing every last need. I am in awe of His Goodness, His Mercy, His Love. Our gratitude is inexpressible…but that does not mean that we are not susceptible to weariness. The trick that we are learning is to find light in the darkness...to choose happiness over sadness…to continue moving forward, even if you are knee deep in quick sand and you are clawing at the ground to keep from sinking.
So here we go…
Jadon: Jadon’s wounds have continued to progress in a devastating way. A month or so ago, he got a new helmet and he has been wearing it 23 hours a day. That was an absolute blessing because prior to that, I was staring at his wounds for hours a day and literally watching them get worse. Now I only see the worsening once a day and at least in between I can pretend that his head doesn’t look like swiss cheese. What started in January as a spot of hair loss and a small weeping wound has morphed into 3 large gaping holes with evident pseudomonas infection. He was on antibiotics but has finished his course. The infection is still present, however. I noticed about 4 weeks ago that one of the areas had a small white hard object exposed. I was told it was just a scab. On Saturday when I was changing his wound dressing, I noticed a hard, white object coming out of the hole in his scalp. With tweezers, I removed the tooth-like object and crumbled it in my hand. I was for sure it was bone. When we went to see Dr. Tepper yesterday, I showed him three more areas I was concerned about. He ended up removing two large pieces of this white material while I anchored Jadon down in my arms. Nothing like restraining your screaming child so the doctor can remove foreign bodies coming out of his head. It turns out that the dissolvable plates holding Jadon’s transplanted bone are being rejected by his body, and they are coming out through his scalp. I was praying for answer…and I’m glad I have one…but sometimes the answer just plain hurts. We are going to see Dr. Goodrich this week and are following up with Dr. Tepper next week. So far, there is no new plan. I’m praying the bone does not have to be removed. These wounds have been a dark cloud over my head for months. Some days I would go home and lie flat on the floor, my face soaking in my puddle of tears, and beg God for the ability to pray. I’m a wound care person (I treated wounds for the first 2 years of my job) but there’s just something about watching your baby’s head upon up into festering wounds that takes the wind right out of your sails. Ok…that’s the dark stuff, time to shift to the light…
Jadon could care less about his wounds. I am pretty sure he can’t even feel them, considering that the skin that covers the top of his head is actually part of Anias’ scalp. His physical recovery is astounding. He can roll every-which-way to get toys that he desperately wants. He can briefly sit on his own. He is standing without needing leg braces anymore (with full support of his body) and is trying to pull his knees under him when he’s on his belly to attempt to crawl. He even tried to pull up to sitting today. He is on the move, all the time. Jadon’s personality is BIG. He is rambunctious yet charming. All boy with a hint of sweet. I am basically his human gymnasium. I have been able to take the boys outside on stroller rides on nice days. I love watching him look at the leaves on the trees as they move with the wind. He beams when the wind hits his face. There’s a fire in him that is contagious. He is determined and independent and just plain happy. He says “mom mom mom” when he wants me to pick him up. He says “uh oh” when things fall on the floor. I know I say this all the time…but thank God for his smile…without it I’m just not sure I could do this.
Anias: In the midst of the wound turmoil, Anias has had his own issues. Last time I wrote, one month ago, Anias was admitted to the PICU, Aza had croup and Jadon was in Blythedale. I am so grateful to say that Anias’ wounds have fully healed and that he has been back with Jadon for about a month. In the last month however, our family has been struck by sickness. About 4 weeks ago, after Anias’ return from the PICU, both Anias and Jadon contracted awful colds. Colds sound like no big deal, but for Anias, it can be devastating. With that bout of cold, Anias stopped breathing on multiple occasions. One time his oxygen went down to 17. For about a week, I made it my sole responsibility to try and predict these instances by watching his heart rate and fever curve and keeping his nose suctioned, and yet, I still held my blue, breathless baby on more occasions than I’d like to remember. After about 2 weeks, the colds finally subsided and I disinfected everything I owned, attempting to prevent another outbreak. To tie in everything I guess I should state that at this time, Aza had just gotten over croup and the boys were sick. Within the week of the boys’ recovery, Aza started spiking 102 fevers.
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Update 28
Posted by Nicole McDonald
4 days ago
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Part2
This lasted 4 or 5 days, of which of course, I could not go see the babies. Aza recovered about 10 days ago. But last week, the boys started with colds again. Jadon’s cold is so bad that he actually needs oxygen at night to breathe. Anias was even needing his bipap during the day while awake in order to maintain good oxygen levels. Yesterday he threw up 9 times because he was gagging on his thick mucous. Thankfully, however, he has had no instances of drastic desaturations and honestly, he is in better spirits than I am, even though he is the sick one. While Anias was in the PICU, his CT showed that he has developed brain cysts in the area where Dr Goodrich cut through his brain to separate him from Jadon. Jadon also has a cyst but it is not nearly as large. It has been Dr Tepper’s goal to get Anias a helmet that will contain his skull-less head to prevent any further growth of this cyst. With his high fevers over the last week, he has not been able to wear the helmet and I have to say that his head is huge. It’s almost as if there is a whole head on top of his head. We will address this with Dr Goodrich this week. It is possible that they may have to “tap” the cyst again and drain fluid from it. I’m starting to get exhausted just typing all of this…
I’m going to pause so that I can describe “the dark.” For 4 straight weeks, I’ve tended to critically ill children…well to be absolutely frank, for almost 2 years I’ve tended to critically ill children. As a mother, I’m not sure if there is any worse pain (except for actually losing your child) than watching your children suffer. Sometimes I stand in the doorway of the boys’ room and know that upon entering I’m going to receive about 50 emotional lashes. Sometimes I wish the stripes were physically present so people could see my pain and have mercy on my inability to be “normal.” Instead, I wear the scars on my heart. Sometimes the wounds are so deep that I am certain my heart will stop beating…but for whatever reason…I wake up the next day and attempt, with every last bit of energy I have, to paint a smile on my face. I’ve learned that we are the family that everyone is glad that they are not. I hear all the time, “I was going through (insert trial here) but then I thought of you and realized I could do it.” In other words, you got it tough, girl. And sometimes, I’m just tired of the beating. I’m not telling you this for your pity. I’m telling you this because I know I can’t be alone. I know that there are some of you that have to feel this way sometimes. And I want you to know, I’m right there with you. I’m no spiritual giant. I’m nothing special. I get faint-hearted and lose faith and lash out and go numb and hurt. I see moms with their children at the grocery store, looking around with embarrassed eyes because their toddler is throwing a fit about bananas, and I ache for those moments. I see families sitting together at restaurants, moms cradling their newborns in their arms while they try to eat dinner, and I don’t understand why that couldn’t be us. I ache to be with my children in normal circumstances. Most 19 month old children are toddling around at the park and eating dirt. Mine are still lying on the floor recovering from impossible brain surgery. Sometimes I get bitter. But…I’ve learned a lesson that I think is so important. I only feel this way when I’m trying to control everything. It’s when I’m spending 10 hours a day Googling diagnoses and medications and prognoses so that I can control the situation, instead of getting on my knees and asking for God’s wisdom and strength, that I lose sight of the big picture and fall flat on my face. It’s when I am desperately seeking control, that I feel the most out of control. Sometimes I get on my knees and I have nothing to say. Tears just stream down my face and I feel like I’ve lost God all together. But He’s always there. He’s always there and when I decide to hand over the control, to give my anxieties to Him, to acknowledge the hurt but not allow it to consume me, to be still…then…His peace surrounds me.
Ok back to the light…Anias, that sweet, chubby baby, is miraculous. He is really starting to use both arms intentionally (although he has a very hard time coordinating his right hand to grasp objects). He rolls side to side and can almost get onto his belly. When he’s on his belly, he can pick up his head from the floor (even though it must be SO heavy). He is also able to sit and hold his head up perfectly. I can finally hold him up on my shoulder and he can pick up his head to look at me. It’s moments like these where I choose to reside.
In case we didn’t have enough stress, we decided to add more and buy a real fixer-upper-of-a foreclosure. We will be moving on May 8. We just could not justify spending $2500 on rent at our current residence. For all of you who do not know, Christian has built houses his entire life with his dad and this is his domain. This will allow him to literally work from home, as he will do all of the labor. Our goal is to sell the house by the end of the year and make enough profit to survive another year here in New York. It’s a big leap of faith…but if anything, we sell it for what we put into it and basically live for a year for free. Aza’s job is to help his daddy and learn the tricks of the trade. He’s had to grow up quick in all of this, but he’s such a trooper. This morning he woke up, and like always he said, “Babies have owies?” To which I replied, “Yes, baby, our babies have owies.” For the first time he said, “Babies at the doctor.” Tears welled up in my eyes, “Yes baby, our babies live at the doctor’s.” I wish I could see life from his perspective. I miss him all the time and I hate that the only real quality time I get with him is at bedtime and when he gets sick.
Christian is filled with a new purpose, which is one of the main reasons we decided to buy a fixer upper. He has spent an entire year taking care of the ins and outs of being uprooted from Illinois to devote our life to our conjoined babies. He needed to start getting his hands dirty again. His presence has been such a huge component to the survival of our family as a whole. Someone here at Blythedale commented about how well adjusted Aza and the boys are to this lifestyle. I can honestly say that a huge part of that success is due to my husband. He has been in the background, giving up every last bit of himself, to allow me to spend countless hours with the boys and come home to play with Aza without worrying about the day to day “stuff” that comes with life. Statistics say that most marriages won’t make it through something of this magnitude. I would be lying if I did not say that there weren’t days where we were both staring at each other with our bags packed, red-faced from yelling, ready to quit. But we don’t. And we won’t. Why? Love. And choice. We choose to love each other even when it seems impossible. And thank God for that wisdom. Because without God we wouldn’t understand the love it takes to stay in a situation like this and make it to the end stronger than when you started.
And so I say this to you…never give up. You may lose the ability to see the goal, to see the progress, to see the good, to see the reason why…but never give up. Fight for your dreams…tooth and nail…it will be worth it. It is for us…
All our love,
The McDonald’s
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Update 27
Posted by Nicole McDonald
1 month ago
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Update 2/2:
Of course, when things go south, they go way south. Aza developed croup a few days ago. While I was spending most of my time with Anias, I now had to switch my attention back to Aza, who was spiking high fevers and needing frequent trips outside to catch his breath. As I sit here and type, I have to admit, I feel a little worn out. Two kids in two different hospitals. A sick three year old at home. If I had a super power it would be to be able to be in at least 5 places at once. What I'm learning is how to be fully in the moment of wherever I am, as best as I can.

And so as we negotiate through this side trip of our journey, we do our best to just keep smiling. To not lose hope. To not lose faith. To not fear. To keep pushing forward to the day that we will all be together. I yearn for that day and sometimes I wonder if it will ever come. Until then...

Thank you for your continued support...

All our love...
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Update 26
Posted by Nicole McDonald
1 month ago
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Update 1/2: We "were" cautiously easing our way into a life of stability..."were" is a word that hangs heavy on my heart today. I should start out by saying that overall the boys are doing great, but February and March are proving to be very trying months. And although I am grateful for every single day we have been given, I was so very grateful for the stability of January.

I figured that I should update for all of you who are not able to see my frequent Facebook posts, but who care so much about the status of our family as a whole. February was seeming like a great month. The boys developed colds, but hey, we will take a cold any day...it almost makes us feel normal. Anias' wounds were practically healing, Jadon was flying through therapy, Aza was healthy and starting to talk more. That feels like forever ago.

I'll never forget the day that I decided it was time to let down my guard. It was February 14, my birthday, and Christian wanted to take me ice skating. I agreed but it had to be after I spent the day with the boys. I am very cautious about doing things outside of the hospital because I feel like every time I do, something bad happens. The streak continues. After a wonderful date night with my husband (an absolute luxury that has not happened in many, many months), I returned to the boys the next morning with a new pep in my step. I felt like everything was looking up. And then I looked down. There was little Jadon, lying in his crib, in a puddle of yellow drainage. Yup, that's right, a puddle of pus. Guilt sank all the way into the deepest center of my being. I was gone for 12 hours. I had been concerned about a few spots on his head that were losing hair and was worried that they would eventually open up. One of the spots developed a little pin hole in it overnight and a steady stream of yellow was pouring out of it. That was when our non-reality "stability bubble" popped. Jadon was admitted to Montefiore that day, had a CT done and lots of testing. It appears that he has a cyst that has developed on the brain where the surgeon cut to separate the boys' brains. The cyst is growing with fluid and pushing up on the skull they reconstructed, which is not fully healed yet. In fact, some of his bone is resorbing and now there is talk of Jadon also needing some reconstruction later--like Anias is going to need. So that was a stab in the heart. This time when Jadon was admitted to Montefiore, we were on the general floor and not in the PICU, which was like being in the twilight zone. We had a 15 year old boy as our roommate and Jadon was not hooked up to a monitor. Needless to say I only left to shower and grab a quick snack. He was hospitalized for 3 days and we were discharged with information but no real answers. Still today, his head is leaking but there is nothing that is being done at this point. I stare at his head and fixate on the day to day changes, wondering what the future holds. Jadon is no worse for wear, though, and is a bundle of joy and energy. In the last month, he has continued to get stronger and stronger and today when I put him on his belly, he immediately flipped over to his back. I sat down to feed him the other day and asked him if he was ready for bites, to which he replied "YEAAAHHH." He's always smiling, always happy. Except for the last week...he's acting a little depressed this week because Anias is now admitted at Montefiore for the same exact issue, only to a much grander degree.

So Jadon returned and I was a little traumatized. Could it really be that I'm not allowed to leave them? I juggled the question for days. But when Christian and Aza decided to take a trip down to Georgia so that Aza could see his cousins while they were on spring break, I forced the thought to leave. While they were gone, I stayed with the boys every hour they were awake, but at night I went home and allowed myself to sit. Wow it felt great! I began to get comfortable again. It had been 2 weeks since Jadon's admission. While Jadon was in the hospital, I was asked to attend an event at the State Capitol; they were issuing a proclamation to honor the team that separated the boys and they wanted me to attend. I said no because of my fear of leaving the boys, but as it got closer to the event, I changed my mind. It was an awesome day of celebration and I was so proud of the whole team at Montefiore as they stood to accept this honor in front of the Senate. On the bus ride home, I got the call. The streak continued...Anias was spiking a high fever. Something was off.

Earlier in the week, he had a desaturation episode where his oxygen levels tanked to 17 in a matter of seconds. Rapid response was called. He was ok after being "bagged" but it was terrifying. These episodes are seizures that typically come when he has an infection/fevers. When I got to Anias after that day away with the team, he was screaming in his bed. He was hot, his wound was bigger and there was a distinct line of blisters on his incision. I told the nurse he needs to be admitted today. So, he was shipped off to Montefiore last Thursday, and there he remains. His CT also showed a cyst like Jadon's but larger in size. On the first day of admission, he had a CT and came back to the room to have 60 cc of fluid tapped from him head. He started spiking a fever. He began throwing up uncontrollably. Then he went blue in my arms. I screamed for a nurse and they bagged him so that his oxygen would return after dropping to 27. He fell asleep and then was awoken for the doctors to attempt IV placement. He threw up through that and I suggested they wait a day. It was all too much. I had just held my non-breathing baby, blue as the sky, while they resuscitated him...he needed a break and so did I. The area of blisters on his head opened up in to a huge, gaping hole. He has a Pseudomonas and staph infection that is being treated with antibiotics. He is still admitted in the PICU because they are attempting to find a way to wrap his head to prevent the cyst from expanding any more and causing his scars to open. He will no longer be wearing a helmet for now. The whole ordeal has grounded us. We sadly came to the realization that stability is on hold. That even though things seem ok, these boys will be in and out of the hospital for a while, and that is just how it's going to be. But...as always...little Anias is SO happy. He is like the prince of the PICU. He has visitor upon visitor and he causes each one to swoon over his infectious smile. He won't let me hold his hands, though. That's the worst...because of so many IV attempts, he doesn't trust you when you reach for his hands or feet. But he cackle-laughs when you kiss his belly and his rolls over to snuggle into my arms and he just so precious.

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Read a Previous Update
Nicole McDonald
19 months ago

My eyes well up with tears every single time I scroll through the names of all of you who have donated to our babies. Your support is absolutely inspiring to us. We never expected anything from anyone...so to see all these names...names from the past and present...names that we don't even know...is just too much to take in. Thank you all so much. When this is all over and the boys can look at each other in the eyes for the first time, it will be because of all of you.

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Carissa Thelander
6 months ago

I woke up at 2:15 last night and felt led to pray for your little boys, knowing they were probably still in surgery. Thank you for sharing your heart and faith with CNN, as that is how I found your story. I love how your momma's heart just shines through. Prayers continue for your boys today and I look forward to seeing how God will use your boys and your whole family for His glory.

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Tanya Branchflower
15 months ago

have you got an facebook page if you had one I would love your babies journey thinking of you your babies and all of your family xxxx

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Paula Trapper Spence
6 months ago

I saw the story on CNN today and I immediately began searching for news/updates of how the surgery was going. I will pray for your sons and your family. Today was the very first time I've ever donated to any fundraising campaign as your story, your sweet boys story, captured my whole heart. May you all be blessed with much love, happiness, peace & healing. God bless you all!

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Carla Parker Czarnota
15 months ago

Do you have a facebook page set up? I would love to follow your journey. God bless you and your family

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Rachel Wright Parker
13 months ago
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Your faith throughout this is such a testament to God's love and faithfulness to all of us in hard times. My twin girls (who just turned 3 and are doing great) were mono-mono twins and my heart goes out to you and your precious boys. God is the God of miracles, and may He give you strength and bless you abundantly.

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Elizabeth Mitchell
6 months ago
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I have mono/di twins, one of which was born 1lb3oz at 31 weeks - smallest 31 weeker to have survived in the country from what I know. Throughout my pregnancy we were strongly advised to "selectively reduce" the little one to save the big from death/brain damage. We were repeatedly told the little wouldn't survive, even after he was born. My little one spent 4 months in the hospital and has endured countless IV slips, central line failures, transfusions, surgeries, illnesses, etc. By the grace of God they both turned 1 last month and are doing great. While I can't possibly understand exactly what youre going through because our situations are very different, I do understand some element of terror and agony and joy surrounding these medically conplex babes, and wanted to give you a virtual hug. **May God's peace be with you throughout*

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NG Aply
6 months ago
7
7

I read that one of your sweet boys isn't moving one of his sides yet. My cousin's 2 y/o had brain surgery that the drs told us could cause paralysis on his left side but they were hopeful his mobility could come back. Well he did end up not being able to move his left side after the operation. The surgery was 16 months ago. He now has complete restored movement in that side. You would never know he was ever paralyzed. I pray and am very optimistic that your baby will have the same outcome. It's amazing how young children bounce back from operations in a way adults can't. Prayers to you all for strength and for a speedy recovery for those beautiful boys.

+ Read More
Eric Christensen
6 months ago
6
6

All of us are blessed to have an impact on those around us and some of us are blessed to have a much wider impact. Thank you for your impact on those of us watching and praying with you and for your faith. Praying for your twins, for your family, for the surgeons, doctors, nurses and support staff working right now. Praying that The Surgeon would hold and guide your surgeon. For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

+ Read More
Carol Lahue
6 months ago
4
4

I KNOW GOD IS WATCHING OVER THEM..........

+ Read More
Garry Schafer
6 months ago
4
4

Just read CNN's writeup. As a father of 3 with another one on the way - I can't imagine what you've gone through. And yet I'm crying as I read because there's the common bond we all share that makes us all one, all understand. "From two people falling in love" that circle just keeps growing.

+ Read More
Simona Arles
6 months ago
3
3

I have been following along. I cannot donate, much as I wish. But I was so nervous yesterday, I had to tell myself... remember this family thinks nothing is ever impossible. And all of a sudden, I could feel that the everything would work out. Jadon and Anias both have beautiful names and I, too, believe in them, in their parents and their big brother. You'll always have my support. Be blessed with your gorgeous boys.

+ Read More
Christina Coghill
6 months ago
3
3

I saw something about your boys' surgery last night on a news app I have. I don't know when your children came out of surgery, but I joined my prayers late into the night for you, your family and specifically that the Lord would guide the doctor's hands, give him wisdom and keep his attention and instincts sharp during the long hours of intense labor. I'm sorry I don't have money to donate. But I am most definitely praying for you, your family and those precious beautiful Gifts!

+ Read More
Joanne Lundmark
6 months ago
3
3

nicole and christian, i have a feeling you believe in heavenly signs so i have to tell you when i saw the time of when the boys were born, i knew they would by ok. my daughter kept seeing 11.11 all the time and wondered what it meant, if anything. to her surprise it means an angel is watching over you. i truly believe this is true with the boys too. i am patiently waiting for an update along with everyone else. i am so excited to see them separated and doing good. God bless your entire family.

+ Read More
Bill Hart
13 months ago
3
3

Nicole and Christian, We will keep the boys in prayer thtoughout the surgery on Monday. We pray also for the skillful hands of the surgeons and the medical staff. We also pray for both of you as you wait for the positive outcome of the surgery. May you feel God's peace and comfort throughout the day and beyond. Know He is with you always. Eileen and Bill Hart

+ Read More
Judi Mooney
15 months ago
3
3

Sending thoughts and prayers your way, your boys are beautiful and i pray for them and strength and faith as you move towards New york.

+ Read More
Jim Sterling
6 months ago
2
2

My prayers are with you and your two lovely boys. I pray for a full recovery for the little ones and strength both of you to get you through.

+ Read More
Kayla Marie Cromer
6 months ago
2
2

Please keep us all posted as the twins progress unfolds. You're not alone in this journey. Close your eyes and soak up all the energy and love from around the world. May this acct ease the burden of worrying about $$$.

+ Read More
Leta Wolfe
6 months ago
2
2

Can you please post an update? All of us are wondering about them, thinking about them all the time, and praying. Even s updates would be grateful. Like they made it through the night with God by their side, they are now on day two after surgery and so far God is good, they are starting day three and God is amazing, etc. We are all praying and care so much for their health and well-being. They are such precious angels.

+ Read More
Daniela Garcia Glezer
6 months ago
2
2

What a journey. What an example of faith and persistence. Hope the boys recover well from this crucial surgery, they are so blessed to have parents like you I send my prayers from Brazil

+ Read More

$332,602 of $300k goal

Raised by 5,639 people in 19 months
Created September 28, 2015
Nicole McDonald  
JS
$101
jaroed sarmiento
18 hours ago
JS
$101
jaroed sarmiento
18 hours ago
JS
$1,000
jaroed sarmiento
18 hours ago
JS
$500
jaroed sarmiento
18 hours ago
JS
$5
jaroed sarmiento
18 hours ago
JK
$20
Josh Kerr
1 day ago
CC
$500
Charlotte Collins
1 day ago
CC
$100
Charlotte Collins
1 day ago
VD
$20
Valarie Davis
1 day ago
VD
$50
Valarie Davis
1 day ago
Nicole McDonald
19 months ago

My eyes well up with tears every single time I scroll through the names of all of you who have donated to our babies. Your support is absolutely inspiring to us. We never expected anything from anyone...so to see all these names...names from the past and present...names that we don't even know...is just too much to take in. Thank you all so much. When this is all over and the boys can look at each other in the eyes for the first time, it will be because of all of you.

+ Read More
Carissa Thelander
6 months ago

I woke up at 2:15 last night and felt led to pray for your little boys, knowing they were probably still in surgery. Thank you for sharing your heart and faith with CNN, as that is how I found your story. I love how your momma's heart just shines through. Prayers continue for your boys today and I look forward to seeing how God will use your boys and your whole family for His glory.

+ Read More
Tanya Branchflower
15 months ago

have you got an facebook page if you had one I would love your babies journey thinking of you your babies and all of your family xxxx

+ Read More
Paula Trapper Spence
6 months ago

I saw the story on CNN today and I immediately began searching for news/updates of how the surgery was going. I will pray for your sons and your family. Today was the very first time I've ever donated to any fundraising campaign as your story, your sweet boys story, captured my whole heart. May you all be blessed with much love, happiness, peace & healing. God bless you all!

+ Read More
Carla Parker Czarnota
15 months ago

Do you have a facebook page set up? I would love to follow your journey. God bless you and your family

+ Read More
Rachel Wright Parker
13 months ago
9
9

Your faith throughout this is such a testament to God's love and faithfulness to all of us in hard times. My twin girls (who just turned 3 and are doing great) were mono-mono twins and my heart goes out to you and your precious boys. God is the God of miracles, and may He give you strength and bless you abundantly.

+ Read More
Elizabeth Mitchell
6 months ago
8
8

I have mono/di twins, one of which was born 1lb3oz at 31 weeks - smallest 31 weeker to have survived in the country from what I know. Throughout my pregnancy we were strongly advised to "selectively reduce" the little one to save the big from death/brain damage. We were repeatedly told the little wouldn't survive, even after he was born. My little one spent 4 months in the hospital and has endured countless IV slips, central line failures, transfusions, surgeries, illnesses, etc. By the grace of God they both turned 1 last month and are doing great. While I can't possibly understand exactly what youre going through because our situations are very different, I do understand some element of terror and agony and joy surrounding these medically conplex babes, and wanted to give you a virtual hug. **May God's peace be with you throughout*

+ Read More
NA
NG Aply
6 months ago
7
7

I read that one of your sweet boys isn't moving one of his sides yet. My cousin's 2 y/o had brain surgery that the drs told us could cause paralysis on his left side but they were hopeful his mobility could come back. Well he did end up not being able to move his left side after the operation. The surgery was 16 months ago. He now has complete restored movement in that side. You would never know he was ever paralyzed. I pray and am very optimistic that your baby will have the same outcome. It's amazing how young children bounce back from operations in a way adults can't. Prayers to you all for strength and for a speedy recovery for those beautiful boys.

+ Read More
Eric Christensen
6 months ago
6
6

All of us are blessed to have an impact on those around us and some of us are blessed to have a much wider impact. Thank you for your impact on those of us watching and praying with you and for your faith. Praying for your twins, for your family, for the surgeons, doctors, nurses and support staff working right now. Praying that The Surgeon would hold and guide your surgeon. For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

+ Read More
Carol Lahue
6 months ago
4
4

I KNOW GOD IS WATCHING OVER THEM..........

+ Read More
Garry Schafer
6 months ago
4
4

Just read CNN's writeup. As a father of 3 with another one on the way - I can't imagine what you've gone through. And yet I'm crying as I read because there's the common bond we all share that makes us all one, all understand. "From two people falling in love" that circle just keeps growing.

+ Read More
Simona Arles
6 months ago
3
3

I have been following along. I cannot donate, much as I wish. But I was so nervous yesterday, I had to tell myself... remember this family thinks nothing is ever impossible. And all of a sudden, I could feel that the everything would work out. Jadon and Anias both have beautiful names and I, too, believe in them, in their parents and their big brother. You'll always have my support. Be blessed with your gorgeous boys.

+ Read More
Christina Coghill
6 months ago
3
3

I saw something about your boys' surgery last night on a news app I have. I don't know when your children came out of surgery, but I joined my prayers late into the night for you, your family and specifically that the Lord would guide the doctor's hands, give him wisdom and keep his attention and instincts sharp during the long hours of intense labor. I'm sorry I don't have money to donate. But I am most definitely praying for you, your family and those precious beautiful Gifts!

+ Read More
Joanne Lundmark
6 months ago
3
3

nicole and christian, i have a feeling you believe in heavenly signs so i have to tell you when i saw the time of when the boys were born, i knew they would by ok. my daughter kept seeing 11.11 all the time and wondered what it meant, if anything. to her surprise it means an angel is watching over you. i truly believe this is true with the boys too. i am patiently waiting for an update along with everyone else. i am so excited to see them separated and doing good. God bless your entire family.

+ Read More
Bill Hart
13 months ago
3
3

Nicole and Christian, We will keep the boys in prayer thtoughout the surgery on Monday. We pray also for the skillful hands of the surgeons and the medical staff. We also pray for both of you as you wait for the positive outcome of the surgery. May you feel God's peace and comfort throughout the day and beyond. Know He is with you always. Eileen and Bill Hart

+ Read More
Judi Mooney
15 months ago
3
3

Sending thoughts and prayers your way, your boys are beautiful and i pray for them and strength and faith as you move towards New york.

+ Read More
Jim Sterling
6 months ago
2
2

My prayers are with you and your two lovely boys. I pray for a full recovery for the little ones and strength both of you to get you through.

+ Read More
Kayla Marie Cromer
6 months ago
2
2

Please keep us all posted as the twins progress unfolds. You're not alone in this journey. Close your eyes and soak up all the energy and love from around the world. May this acct ease the burden of worrying about $$$.

+ Read More
Leta Wolfe
6 months ago
2
2

Can you please post an update? All of us are wondering about them, thinking about them all the time, and praying. Even s updates would be grateful. Like they made it through the night with God by their side, they are now on day two after surgery and so far God is good, they are starting day three and God is amazing, etc. We are all praying and care so much for their health and well-being. They are such precious angels.

+ Read More
Daniela Garcia Glezer
6 months ago
2
2

What a journey. What an example of faith and persistence. Hope the boys recover well from this crucial surgery, they are so blessed to have parents like you I send my prayers from Brazil

+ Read More
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