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Conjoined Ohio twins, 62, mark a milestone

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - (In Friday story, corrects year of birth for Bunker twins to 1811, instead of 1881, and amends first paragraph to make clear the celebration is not open to the public)

The world’s oldest conjoined twins plan to celebrate surpassing the life span of the original “Siamese Twins” on Saturday with a celebration in Ohio.

Donnie and Ronnie Galyon turn 62 years, 8 months and 8 days old, thereby outliving Chang and Eng Bunker, conjoined twins who lived from 1811 to 1874.

The Bunkers were born in Siam, now Thailand.

A party for the Galyons is planned in their hometown of Dayton, Ohio.

The Galyons are joined at the sternum and share organs, which became an issue four years ago when Ronnie was sick with a virus that affected Donnie’s health as well.

The twins live with their younger brother Jim Galyon and his wife Mary.

Jim Galyon said his older brothers toured with their father, and at times seven other siblings, as a “human oddity” until the shows fell out of fashion in the 1970s.

The later traveled in Mexico and Latin America.

“They were on the road from (age) 4 to 40," Jim Galyon said. "They did their time."

They aim to break the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-lived conjoined twins when they turn 63 in October, their brother said.

According to the Guinness website, the longest-living twins, Giacomo and Giovanni Battista Tocci of Italy, were born in 1877 and died at 63, he said.

“It has been lifelong goal to reach this age,” Jim Galyon said.  

(Additional reporting by Kevin Murphy, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst, Lisa Shumaker and Kevin Liffey)

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