By GILLIAN MOHNEY
Ronnie and Donnie Galyon are eagerly awaiting a major milestone this Saturday. Even though it’s not the conjoined twins’ birthday, the duo plans to celebrate turning 62 years, 8 months and 7 days old with a big block party.
The reason for the celebration? The date means they will have lived longer than the original “Siamese Twins,” Chang and Eng Bunker, who became famous as a sideshow act in the 1800's.
“Put it this way -- I’m stoked,” Ronnie Galyon, 62, told the Denton Daily News.
Ronnie and Donnie Gaylon were born in 1951 and live with their younger brother, Jim Galyon, and his wife in Beavercreek, Ohio. The Galyon twins are joined from the breastbone area to the pelvis and spent their first months on Earth in the intensive care unit.
“They weren’t even expected to live the first day, let alone get out of the hospital, let alone live 62 years,” said Jim Galyon. “This has been a life-long goal to meet and beat the Bunker twins. It means the world to them.”
After growing up, the pair performed in carnival sideshows and circuses until they retired in 1991, according to the Associated Press. The Galyon twins lived on their own after retirement, although they moved just a few houses down from their brother so that he could help them. The twins moved in with their younger brother after they became deathly ill following a viral infection and were in the intensive care unit with various health problems, including blood clots in Ronnie’s lungs.
With the help of the community and the Christian Youth Corps, Jim Galyon was able to build an addition on his house and make it handicap accessible. He and his wife now care for his brothers 24 hours a day.
“[They] have their own totally different personalities,” said Jim Galyon. “Donnie can be very serious and reserved; Ronnie is very happy-go-lucky.”
While the duo is excited for the party on Saturday, they’re really anticipating their next birthday. This October the twins will turn 63, breaking the record for the oldest pair of conjoined twins, according to Guinness World Records.
The twins have been excited about breaking the official record for years.
“It’s what me and Donnie always dreamed about, and we hope to get the ring, because we’ve dreamed about getting this since we were kids,” Ronnie Galyon told the Denton Daily News.
As the Galyon twins plan to make history, their family is working on compiling a history of the twins’ former life on the road. They’re asking anyone who might have seen Ronnie and Donnie Galyon in their circus days to can contact the Galyon family at Worldsoldestconjoinedtwins@gmail.com.