Photo: Dr. Ken Baumruck (left) with his brother, Keith, and Keith’s grandchildren Ethan and Alexander.
Multiple sets of twins run in the family. Photo by Kimberly Anderson
by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Elburn chiropractor Ken Baumruck and his brother Keith are identical twins, an occurrence that happens in only about three in every 1,000 births. By contrast, fraternal twins are born in about 32 of every 1,000 births.
So when Ken’s nephew, Brad, and Brad’s wife, Rachel, had identical twins a year ago, it was really a surprise.
“Identical twins are not genetically determined,” Ken said. “It’s very rare; a freak of nature.”
He explained that identical twins are born from the same egg and the same sperm, with the fertilized egg, or the zygote, splitting after fertilization.
“The cause is not known, but we have the same DNA,” he said.
Ken said there are so many things in which they are alike. They like the same foods, their hearing is the same. When one twin’s cholesterol goes up, the other’s does, as well. It’s the same with blood pressure.
“It’s like he’s the other half of me,” Ken said. “We can finish each other’s sentences.”
Although Ken and Keith have another brother and two sisters whom they love, Ken said it is not the same.
“He’s my best friend; he’s just like me,” Ken said of Keith. “It’s a deeper thing.”
Keith feels the same way.
“I have to talk to him once or twice a week,” Keith said. “I don’t feel right when we’re out of contact.”
Keith said that they had a lot of fun growing up together. Although their mom never dressed them alike, they did everything together. They both enjoy sports, especially hockey, and they are both Chicago White Sox fans.
“I always had a buddy,” Keith said.
Ken and Keith are both married to blondes, and their astrological signs are Taurus. The two wives are good friends.
“It’s almost like you marry the brother, too,” Ken said. “The other twin is part of the package.”
Ken’s nephew Brad works for him in his chiropractic practice. Brad said that a couple of years ago, his uncle needed some extra help, and the two meshed really well.
Identical twins are not supposed to run in families. According to www.twin.com website, if an individual has a parent who is an identical twin, his or her chances of having an identical twin are the same as anyone else—3 in 1,000.
Brad said his identical twins, Alexander and Ethan, have already shown similar characteristics and traits. Their weight is within one pound of each other, and their length is exactly the same, as is their head diameter. They’re already very close.
“They talk to each other without talking,” Brad said. “They’re looking at each other, and then they’ll start laughing. Doc and my dad do it, too.”
Since they were only born a little over a year ago, it remains to be seen if they will end up as close buddies like Ken and Keith.
“They’re still young, but hopefully, they’ll be like us,” Keith said.
Brad said that when his dad is at home watching a Sox game, and one of the players hits a home run, the phone rings.
“You know it’s his brother,” Brad said.