The TTTS Walk for Life
March 8th – St. Joseph Park, St. Joseph, TN. Brooke Myrick and family are hosting the Walker and Willis Birthday Walk for Life.
Sadly, many of us who have gone through Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome know exactly what it is like to have a Twinless Twin. I have a daughter who never got to know her twin sister, and I often wonder how that will impact her as she grows up. For most of us, that twin is still a part of our lives, whether you can see him or her or not.
This is certainly the case for Walker. His twin Willis died in the womb, but he is very much a part of Walker’s life.
So much so that, after attending a walk sponsored by the TTTS Foundation last year in Ohio, Walker asked his mother Brooke if they could sponsor a birthday walk in honor of his twin Willis, to raise money for the TTTS Foundation.
I have featured the story of Walker and Willis previously on my blog, but just to recap:
Brooke lost Willis at 22 weeks and had to carry him for eight more weeks. Her doctor had not monitored her for TTTS.
“We can only guess (that Walker was the recipient),” Brooke said. “My specialist thought he was probably the recipient. I talked to doctors just like a year ago because I had so many questions, and they said he could have been a donor because he had growth problems.”
Walker was 2 pounds, 15 ounces at birth.
According to the TTTS website, the recipient twin may suffer from heart failure because of excess blood and the donor may suffer from a lack of blood and nutrients. Most identical twins will share a placenta, and of those almost 20 percent will develop TTTS. It is estimated there are at least 4,500 cases in the U.S. every year.
Brooke and Walker are especially interested in promoting this walk to raise more awareness for the community about TTTS. Early detection is such a key factor in saving both twins suffering from TTTS, but mothers have to know to ask questions of their doctors because even today, many OBs do not take TTTS as seriously as they should. In Brooke’s case, similar to mine, she went four weeks between ultra sounds. By the time the TTTS was detected, it was too late.
This loss greatly impacted them. Brooke and her family have been extremely open about talking about Willis, TTTS, and raising awareness to help future mothers of twins.
The family attended a TTTS memorial walk in Ohio this past summer. A month later, the walk inspired Walker to ask his mother about hosting a walk closer to home.
“I kind of brushed it off, saying we’re so busy, maybe when you’re older,” Brooke said. “He asked if that could just be his birthday party. I just couldn’t tell him no. I’ll make it happen some how. But I couldn’t tell him no.”
Brooke learned about the Ohio TTTS walk through a support group, she said, and support groups have been instrumental for Brooke in dealing with the loss of her son.
The walk will be Saturday at St. Joseph park in St. Joseph, TN and all proceeds will benefit the Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) Foundation. If you live anywhere near St. Joseph, TN, and might be able to attend the walk on Saturday March 8th, you can find more about the walk here. You can make a donation directly to the TTTS Foundation here.
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