If you didn’t know them, you’d mistake Sierra and Sienna Bernal as mother and daughter.
But you’d be mistaken because they’re both 20 years old and they are, in fact, identical twins. It’s just that Sienna suffers from Primordial Dwarfism.
But you wouldn’t be the only one to make that mistaken assumption. Sienna’s condition makes her a foot smaller than Sierra and weighs only 50 pounds compared to Sierra’s 98 pounds.
Watch to learn more of their story below.
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Video credit: Rumble
Sierra said: “Sometimes whenever people find out we’re twins they’ll ask ‘how old is she?’ So a lot of times even after you’ve established that we’re twins they’ll ask Sienna if she’s younger.
“I’m like ‘that’s how twins work, we’re the exact same age’. And even sometimes people think she’s my daughter.”
Sienna, who weighed just one pound seven ounces at birth, added: “People do often think I’m younger than my age. They think Sierra is my older sister and they treat me differently.
“When they talk to me like a kid they’ll be like ‘how are you?’ I’m like ‘I am fine. I am 20 years old. And I’m an adult. I’m not a kid.’”
The girls think that they may be the only case in the world where one identical twin has Primordial Dwarfism. Even more puzzling is that doctors still can’t classify the form of Sienna’s condition as they haven’t seen it in anyone else.
“I have a form of Primordial Dwarfism that they haven’t discovered yet,” said Sienna. “So they’re thinking I might be my own kind of dwarfism. They don’t know. the doctors are still trying to figure it out.”
Sienna also has Dandy-Walker syndrome, a condition that causes abnormal brain growth.
The twins’ dad, Joey, explained: “Sienna has Agenesis of Corpus Callosum, which is the membrane that separates the left and right hemisphere of your brain.
“Essentially, what that means is it’s not completely there; it’s kind of reduced. And while they expected the Dandy-Walker to cause Sienna to be a vegetable, we think that somehow or another her brain found a way to rewire itself.”
But these physical differences haven’t prevented the sisters from forming the same bond you would see in any pair of identical twins.
Sierra said: “I’m extremely protective over my sister, which I think has made her a little sassier because she knows Sierra is going to take care of it if there’s a problem.
“I remember when we were really young, I think I was five years old. There was this girl. She was four years older than us and she was bullying Sienna at the playground because she was smaller.
“I don’t really see why that would be a reason to bully her, but it was. She didn’t want Sienna to play with her and she was calling her names and being mean to her.
“I may or may not have got in trouble with the principal because I punched her in the face. But you know what? She didn’t bully her anymore. So I say problem solved.”
Their mother Chrissy didn’t even know she was going to have twins until less than a month before they were born.
“Sienna was so little that she didn’t come up in any of the previous tests,” said Chrissy. “Three weeks before they were born that they said, ‘you’ve got two in there.’
“I had to quickly get over that shock though because that was when they immediately said that ‘baby B’ has some medical concerns.”
Doctors gave Chrissy a sobering prognosis after the twins were born.
“When Sienna was born, they actually said she would probably not make it past 24 hours. We got told that a lot.
“Then they said if she did survive, which they gave her a 10 percent chance of making it out the hospital, they said she would most likely be a vegetable.
“So that’s what they told me. They told me to prepare for that, and I said ‘well you don’t know what God has planned.’”
But Sienna bucked all expectations and both the twins are thriving. Sienna is even writing a book and recently entered college. In the meantime, Sierra is a talented singer and songwriter.
Chrissy said: “They have the sibling bond like normal siblings do, but with being twins, they’re definitely closer.
“You can see it if they’ve been separated during the day, they will immediately come together, and you can tell they really did not like not being together.”
Dad, Joey, added: “While they both have their own room, there are so many nights they will fall asleep watching movies together. It’s just one of the things they do, they’re stuck together.”
“I used to do cheerleading and I used to dance,” said Sienna. “I couldn’t do it anymore. I was like ‘okay, you’re past your limit now, time to stop. So now, I swim a ton.
“I actually learned how to swim twice because my twin sister taught me how to swim the first time and then she taught me how to swim again because I forgot.”
Sierra is hoping to build on her success in the music industry while Sienna wants to graduate from college and publish a book.
“I tell people ‘follow your heart and what your heart tells you’,” said Sienna. “Listen to what your music is telling you. That’s what I’m trying now; I’m trying to follow where my heart leads me.”
But whatever the twins decide in life, their parents will always be there to support them. In fact, they’re proud of their girls.
“I’ve never been more proud,” said Joey. “To see some of the things they had to deal with growing up and to be where they are individually, on their own, is a really big deal.
“For Sierra, to be a female in country music, you don’t just have to be tenacious, you have to be fearless. And you have to be willing to go above and beyond, so she’s constantly setting that bar higher.
“And there were people that said certain things couldn’t happen for Sienna, but yet at every corner, she proves them wrong.
“She has days when she’s literally said to me ‘Dad, why did God make me so small?’ And I just say ‘maybe if he made you full-size you’d try to take over the world.’”