What Life is Like for Twins Living with Cystic Fibrosis

After spending the afternoon swimming with friends, 10-year-old twins Berne and Maren arrived home, and their mom, Stacy Van Gorp, immediately handed them generous helpings of Chex Mix. “We have to make sure they get enough calories,” she says, “especially after exercise.” Both children have cystic fibrosis.

Throughout her pregnancy, Van Gorp says everything progressed normally until both kids stopped moving at 32 weeks due to bowel obstructions. After visiting her doctor, she was referred to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospitalin Iowa City where a medical team tried to prolong the pregnancy long enough to help the kids’ lungs develop further.

Despite this, the twins were born just after midnight: Maren one minute older than Berne. Berne immediately had surgery to remove part of his bowel and Maren had a similar surgery a few days later. Berne was in the NICU for 58 days and Maren for 63. 

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