Meet identical twins Hannah and Rachel, living their best toddler life with their family in Basingstoke, England. The twins are a set of rare gems, as both were born with Down syndrome 18 months ago.
According to the U.K. National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register, having identical twins with Down syndrome only occurs in approximately one out of one million pregnancies.
The twins’ mother, Nardy Mejias, described her pregnancy with the girls as completely healthy and normal.
Prenatal checkups never indicated either of her girls may have Down syndrome, so the diagnosis came as a bit of a shock at first. The girls were approximately three weeks old when they were diagnosed.
Mejias and her husband, Enzo Lattanzio, processed the surprising news and launched full-force into learning everything they could about Down syndrome.
“So far raising twins has been hard, like harder than running a marathon,” Mejias said. “But caring for our twins brings us great joy.”
“We enjoy how they bond together and celebrate when they reach a milestone at their own pace,” she said.
“They are lovely — they are not defined by the condition.”
Rachel and Hannah’s parents have every intention of helping their girls reach their full potential in life.
The twins are already finding success as models, having recently signed up with their first modeling agency, Zebedee Management.
“My husband and I have great expectations to reach their full potential (according to) their future talents and we’re working to give them the right opportunities in life,” Mejias said.
“They won’t be defined by Down syndrome but as girls with great capabilities, self-worth — feeling good about themselves,” she said.
The twins have three older siblings, who have eagerly been showing their sisters the ropes of childhood. The twins are learning to communicate in sign language as well as English, Spanish and Italian.
Mejias is hopeful her girls’ story will inspire other families like hers to see the hope, value and potential of kids with Down syndrome.
“It’s OK to be different,” Mejias said.
“We all have something to bring to the world,” she said. “We just need love, care and the same opportunities afforded to everyone else.”