PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) – Kenedi and Kendal Breyfogle may be small, but these baby girls are big fighters. The Pierre twins were born early at 33 weeks on May Day.
“They spent 30 days in the NICU,” dad Aaron Breyfogle said.
But that wouldn’t be the end of their hospital stays. Two months later, the twins’ parents, Aaron and Abby, started noticing bruises on both of their babies.
“We didn’t think too much of it. We thought they might be bug bites,” Aaron said.
Skin biopsies would reveal something much more serious. Doctors diagnosed the 3-month-old girls both with a serious form of cancer: Acute myeloid leukemia, or AML.
“It’s devastating news. You never expect your kids to be diagnosed before yourself or especially at this age,” Aaron said.
AML is more common in adults, not children, especially not babies.
“The fact that they’re identical twins makes them kind of like one. They share the same genetics,” Aaron said.
The twins are being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. They’re limiting visitors to prevent infections. The twins just finished their first round of chemotherapy.
“If you have one sick kid in this situation, it’s an extreme challenge. With two, it’s extremely exhausting. There’s no down time,” Aaron said.
Aaron is putting in a lot of miles on his car. He spends some time back at home in Pierre to work, but also wants to be with his three daughters and wife in Rochester.
“You can tell they’re upset. You can tell they’re fussy. They maybe don’t want to eat as much as they usually would,” Aaron said.
Twice the fight, but Breyfogle says the family has double the love for their daughters during this difficult time.
“We’re just hoping to fight through this right now, and get to a place where we can enjoy quality time together outside of the hospital again,” Aaron said.
If you would like to help out the family, you can visit their Go Fund Me page.