Twin sisters in Hamiota, Man., celebrated their first birthday over the weekend, which their mother says is a miracle milestone given the serious genetic blood disorder they have.
Zoey and Zayne Espayos were born with alpha thalassemia, a disorder that reduces the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the body.
Reina Espayos said she was told her young daughters would not likely reach their first birthday.
But this past weekend, Zoey and Zayne got to wear rainbow-coloured tutus at their party in Hamiota.
"We're just thankful every day that they're still alive," said Espayos, her voice cracking.
Espayos said she was given the choice to terminate her pregnancy when she learned of the prognosis, but she wanted to give her daughters a chance.
"The doctor called the twins their 'wonder babies,'" she said.
Zayne and Zoey currently rely on repeated blood transfusions to stay alive, but Espayos said their survival ultimately depends on a bone marrow transplant.
It turns out that the twins' 11-year-old sister, Zachi, is a bone marrow match.
"I was like, 'Oh yeah, OK. That's cool. I'll do it,'" Zachi said. "I really want sisters and I want them to live, so I just hope that it'll work."
All three sisters will undergo the surgical procedure at the end of September.
Espayos said her doctors believe it could mark the first time a pair of twins undergoes a bone marrow transplant to treat alpha thalassemia.