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Woman Is Her Own Twin, Has Two Different Immune Systems Battling In One Body

A California baby had an unusual discoloring on half of her torso, and her parents and doctors always just chalked it up to being an unusually large birthmark. As the woman got older and began struggling with various illnesses, she started seeking help from specialists to find out what was wrong. She soon discovered that she has an extremely rare disorder: she absorbed her twin, and is two people in one body.

Taylor Muhl, 33, says she always realized she was different. When she was a child, she noticed her friends did not have the same unusual coloring that she had. One half of her torso is noticeably darker than the other. There's literally a line that goes down her body, separating the two halves.

In her early teens, Muhl began having health problems that stumped doctors. For years she went on and struggled with illnesses, but there seemed to be no explanation. In 2009, the now-33-year-old entertainer was watching television when she saw something that caused her to fall out of her chair.

“There was a baby who had the same line as I did,” she explained to the Daily Mail. The baby, according to the television documentary, was suffering from an incredibly rare condition: Chimerism. She had a lot of the same symptoms that the baby had, so she went to The Doctors to find out if this could be what was behind her mysterious health problems.

It was; Muhl was diagnosed with Chimera syndrome, named after a mythological hybrid creature. In humans, this syndrome most often occurs when one fetus in utero absorbs another fetus. Muhl absorbed a fraternal twin sister, and essentially has two different organisms living in one body.

"I have two different immune systems, and I have two different bloodstreams,” Muhl told The Doctors. “My body treats my sister’s DNA and cells as foreign matter and wants to get rid of them, but it can’t.”

This is why Muhl suffers from auto-immune disease symptoms. Because both her twin's and her immune systems are always fighting each other, both have become weakened. Because Muhl has two sets of DNA, doctors have to be cautious when doing medical tests on her. She can get abnormal results from many tests and physicians have to take special care in interpreting the results.

Muhl has come to a point in her life at which she doesn't want to hide her true self from the world anymore. She's opening up about her condition in hopes of inspiring people to feel good about themselves.

"I had always kept my stomach a secret, covering it up or having photographers Photoshop it out," she said. "But now I want to embrace the way I look. I want to inspire people to feel beautiful and confident with their difference."

Absorbing a twin isn't the only way for people to become Chimeras. Some people who have undergone bone marrow transplants have developed the syndrome.

Source: Oddity Central, The Doctors
Photo: The Doctors Screenshot

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