Single mom Dianna Schatzlein-Ahern gave birth to identical twin boys Stevie and Eddie back in 2005. The boys and their mommy were just starting their lives as a family in New Haven, Connecticut when Dianna noticed that something was not quite right with them.
They would get cranky, go through mood swings and compulsive behavior. The weirdest thing of all was that they would be overcome with this insatiable hunger that couldn’t be made better, no matter how much food they ate.
Mom tried every doctor in town, but no one seemed to have the answer to the problem.
The boys were harder to control the older they got. Dianna was at the end of her wits. They would sneak in the kitchen and go through every cabinet, the refrigerators; they would even go after pet food.
Dianna would lock everything to deal with the stubborn little boys. She is now trying to keep everything under control, limiting them to just 1,200 calories a day.
It was not until 2014 when boys were diagnosed at the age of nine. It was now the time to go public and speak out for the first time about the condition of the twins. She wants to raise awareness of the little-known disorder that the kids had.
“They get up in the middle of the night and eat until they fall asleep…They’ll eat until they die,” says Dianna. “They are usually sleepwalking while they are doing it.”
Mom says the condition even broke up the family.
The condition is called Prader-Willi syndrome. A key feature of Prader-Willi syndrome is a constant sense of hunger that usually begins about 2 years of age.
It also results in behavioral issues, such as exhibiting stubbornness and throwing tantrums.
Dianna’s best friend Blair has been her support and a crutch all these years. Blair said “It’s a twenty-four-hour job!”
“They really don’t realize what I go through on a daily basis,” says Dianna. “I really don’t know how I cope. I am 55 years old and it’s taxing.”
Despite their problems, they find a way how to have fun together. One of the twins’ favorite activity is going to a nearby farm, to feed the animals.
They try to make it together through each and every new day.
Watch their story here.