Identical twins with a difference

Now and again, a human interest story rocks your world.  This is one of them, IMHO.

Adam and Neil Pearson are identical twins, but you’d never know it from looking at them. Although they share the same DNA, their appearances are vastly different; each suffers from neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic disorder that has affected them in divergent ways. They tell their story in Jonathan Braue’s deeply affecting short documentary, The Pearson Twins.

. . .

Despite their individual plights, the twins share an unshakable bond and a penchant for resilience, which has led them to develop an inspiring perspective on their situation.

“Adam and Neil’s story challenges the perception of what it means to lead a good life,” Braue told me. “With Adam, I was awestruck by how he never allowed his disfigurement to define him. Within five minutes of talking to him, the fibromas on his face almost seemed to melt into the background—his radiant persona comes to the foreground because he is a great human being with so much love and wisdom to share.” Braue was similarly moved by Neil’s determination to grow and learn through repetition and habit. “What you or I would quickly pick up by reading the rule book for a new board game,” he said, “he would have to read dozens of times while playing the game repeatedly to get the same base knowledge.”

While the effects of neurofibromatosis undeniably continue to shape their existence, neither Pearson twin wishes that things were different. “You’ve got to live the life you’ve got, rather than pining after the one you wanted,” Neil says.

There’s more at the link.

Here’s the video.

I’d never heard of neurofibromatosis until I came across this report and the video at the Atlantic’s Web site.  I’d hate to be burdened with this incurable condition, but it looks like the Pearson twins have adopted the only sane approach to dealing with it.  Good for them, and God bless them.  May the rest of us learn from their example.  Their story reminds me of the old proverb, “I wept because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet”.  I wonder if any of us would cope so well with such an affliction?



  1. What, no one is going to mention the '88 Danny Devito/Schwarzenegger movie "Twins"?

    Apparently there is going to be a sequel called "Triplets"! (name may change) with Eddie Murphy as the third brother. In post-production.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *