Twins have bond in health care

Published 10:23 pm Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to have a twin brother. Don’t ask me why. But needless to say, by the time I was old enough to know I wanted a twin, that ship had long since sailed.

Being an only child, I’ve always been fascinated by the bonds between siblings. I watch and listen carefully as those around me interact with their siblings. Some interactions make me long for someone who understands exactly the way I grew up (although I have a cousin with whom I’ve been close who makes a remarkable substitute for a sister; in fact, I call her my sister and call her children my niece and nephews).

At other times, I watch interactions between siblings and channel the rapper Jay-Z in my head, with one word changed — “I got 99 problems, but a sibling ain’t one!”

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But the bonds between multiple births fascinate me especially. That’s why I was excited recently to interview a pair of fraternal twins, LaShawndra and Charmaine Walker.

Now 26, the two are separated for the first time as they begin their residency programs — pediatrics for LaShawndra and dentistry for Charmaine.

I enjoyed talking to both of them on the phone as they discussed their active childhood, the love and support they received from their family and the way their parents stressed the importance of an education.

That education has paid off for LaShawndra and Charmaine, who attended Howard University together for their undergraduate and doctoral degrees. They now are separated for their residencies — in North Carolina for Charmaine and in Florida for LaShawndra — but they still get the chance to talk and text plenty throughout the day, they said.

Congratulations and best wishes to both young ladies as they begin their careers. It’s safe to say their family, and indeed the entire city of Suffolk, is proud of them.