Model Shares Images That Show What It’s Like to Be Your Own Twin
By Tatiana Bido, Features Editor |
Model Taylor Muhl’s story is going viral as she gives a new definition to the phrase “twinning.” She was born with a rare genetic condition called Chimerism and she recently shared her story with Volition Magazine and made an appearance on The Doctors to help spread awareness of what it means to have Chimera. To put it simply, Muhl says that she is her own twin due to a rare phenomenon that occurred while she was still in the womb.
In her essay published in Volition, Muhl says that when she was conceived she was part of a pair of fraternal twins, but she was somehow fused together with her sibling in the womb, giving her two sets of DNA. Because of this she has two distinct pigmentations on her skin, and the second pigmentation is due to her twin’s DNA and cells.
Muhl says that this genetic condition is so rare, there are currently only 100 cases of Chimera documented in the world. “I’ve been told, I have two immune systems and two bloodstreams. I have unusual sensitivities and allergies to foods, medications, supplements, jewelry and insect bites. My body reacts to my twins' DNA and cells as foreign matter, compromising my immune system to be much lower than an average person. I unfortunately suffer with random autoimmune and health challenges due to my particular case of Chimerism.”
The model says she has revealed her condition and is sharing photos of her different skin tones so that others who are undiagnosed or feel like they are the only ones living with this know that they aren’t alone. “I was scared that if people knew I looked different, and that I have health challenges, it could affect my career in a negative way and I never wanted to take that chance,” she wrote. “It wasn’t until this year that I saw my condition in another light. I realized I was born with this for a reason and now believe it’s to help others with Chimerism or autoimmune. That’s why I decided to go public about my condition, hoping to help and bring awareness to other people. My condition went undiagnosed for many years and I want to prevent that happening with others.”