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Posted: July 06, 2014

World's oldest conjoined twins celebrate milestone

Stock image via Getty Images

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            World's oldest conjoined twins celebrate milestone
Stock image via Getty Images

By Madison Burke

You've heard of someone describing a best friend or loved one as "their other half." Well, that phrase has a different meaning for a pair of twins from Ohio celebrating a big accomplishment this weekend. 

"The short one's Donnie, and I'm the tall one, Ronnie," said Ronnie Galyon. (Via WKEF)​

Sixty-two-year-olds Ronnie and Donnie Galyon officially became the world's oldest living conjoined twins Saturday, beating out the famous "Siamese twins" Eng and Chang Bunker. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Kyd)

When they were young, the brothers appeared in circuses and carnivals to financially support their family of 11. They continued to work in show business most of their lives and eventually retired in Dayton, Ohio. (Via TLC)

But the pair began having serious health problems a few years ago and required some help. They began living with their brother and sister-in-wor, who became their primary caretakers. (Via WHIO)

The Christian Youth Corps also pitched in, providing the brothers a custom-made home and wheelchair.

This weekend, the brothers earned their place in the Guinness World Records, something they say has always been a dream. But for the conjoined brothers to live this long is something of a rarity. 

Conjoined twins happen when a fertilized egg partially splits. Two fetuses develop, but remain connected. Some twins share internal organs, while others do not. (Via Mayo Clinc)

If the twins do share any organs — like the Galyon brothers— their life expectancy is cut considerably short. (Via Rambam Health Care Campus)

Most conjoined twins actually don't even make it to birth, or die shortly after birth, making cases like Donnie and Ronnie very special. (Via WDTN)

The twins credit their current good health to all of the good nights of sleep they get, thanks to their donated, custom-built bed. 

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