More than Just Brothers: Identical Twins Battle Cystic Fibrosis

From the moment they were born 24 years ago, Amir and Tal Askenazi, identical twin brothers, shared everything in their lives including their friends, an apartment, their workplace and sadly their affliction with cystic fibrosis, a terrible genetic disease.

Both of the twins were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis very soon after they were born. This disease affects the exocrine mucus glands of the lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestines, causing progressive disability due to multisystemic failure. Most patients have a short life expectancy. In Tal the disease had progressed further and over the years his condition worsened. Only 23 years old, he was attached to an oxygen tank 24 hours a day, and could barely breathe. He became extremely depressed, because he knew that without a lung transplant he would soon die. The waiting was the worst part, but finally after being in and out of the hospital for more than 6 months, a month ago his life changed dramatically when he received a long awaited call from Prof. Kramer, head of the Pulmonary Institute at Rabin Medical Center. A matching lung had been donated by the family of a young man who had died in a car accident. One family's tragedy had become another's family's hope.

Tal underwent a lung transplant at Rabin Medical Center. His transplant was successful. His brother Amir never left his side, except when Tal was on the operating table. He is now back in the apartment he shares with Amir and has begun to enjoy the freedom of his new life. Though his brother Amir's condition is currently stable, Tal knows that one day he will also need a lung transplant, and he only prays that when that day comes, his brother will be just as lucky as him.

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