Record-Setting Conjoined Twins Lori and George Schappell Dead at 62

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Conjoined twins who set a world record as the oldest with the rare phenomenon, and who were the first to identify as different genders, have died at the age of 62.

Lori and George Schappell died at a hospital in Pennsylvania on April 7, according to their obituary. The craniopagus twins—joined at the head—shared 30 percent of their brains, but led drastically different careers and interests.

“Dori had a career as a country singer, performing throughout the United States; and Lori is a trophy-winning bowler,” their obituary notes.

“I don’t wake up thinking, ‘Oh, I’m a conjoined twin.’ I have two arms and two legs. I’m just a regular person… I live a normal life,” Lori told the Los Angeles Times in a 2002 interview.

The pair was given only a year to live by doctors when they were born in 1961, but they managed to defy the odds and live independently in their own apartment, with Lori pushing George, who had spina bifida, around in a wheelchair.

With no surgery available at the time to separate the two, the twins were given a flurry of dire prognoses and doctors ultimately convinced their parents to put them in an institution for more than two decades. But they chose to always look forward, and paved their own paths throughout adulthood.

In 2007, George famously announced his decision to transition, making them the world’s first conjoined twins to identify as different genders. They had different rooms in their Pennsylvania apartment and switched up their sleeping arrangements each night, showering at different times and learning to “ignore each other” when they weren’t getting along or the situation demanded it, Lori noted in the 2002 interview.

“Normal is whatever you make of it, but we’re very happy,” she said.

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