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Long Island twins who were born premature heading off to college after defying doctors' diagnoses

Long Island twins heading to college, defying doctors' diagnoses
Long Island twins heading to college, defying doctors' diagnoses 02:36

SOUTH HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Long Island twins who were born premature and with a bleak future are defying the odds, now off to college.

They shared their story of hope with CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis.

Photos have a way of bringing you back in time.

"This is Lindsey. She was born a pound and a half," Michelle Wettstein said, flipping through a photo album from when her children were newborns. "Jaiden was two pounds, but he was much sicker when he was born."

That was time of so many unknowns for Wettstein.

"What is it like looking at these photos?" DeAngelis asked.

"It's surreal. It almost feels like someone else's life, I think," Wettstein said.

On May 23, 2004, Wettstein gave birth to twins, Lindsey and Jaiden. She was only 26 and a half weeks.

"My son was, like, not supposed to make it at all. They basically kept them in as long as possible really to save her life," she said.

Eighteen years later, the twins are thriving, defying the diagnosis of every doctor.

"We were told practically all our lives for different reasons, because we have different things of our own, that we couldn't do things, we shouldn't do things or we may not be able to do things," Jaiden said.

"But we went and did those things," Lindsey said.

"We went and did those things," Jaiden said.

Jaiden has chronic lung issues and was once told he may not breathe on his own, but now, he sings. The little girl who was told she wouldn't have muscular strength, from a blood disorder, is a lacrosse goalie. And now, they're off to college.

Lindsey is headed to Emerson College in Boston on a lacrosse scholarship. She will be playing for the women's lacrosse team and will study theater set and light design.

Jaiden has traveled the world singing opera and will be a dual vocal performance and theater major at Johns Hopkins University in the Peabody Institute of Music.

Lindsey says she wants to work on Broadway, while Jaiden was to continue to travel the world singing.

"Maybe you two will be on Broadway together," DeAngelis said.

"Yeah, that's always kinda been the joke. She's backstage, I'm on stage, kinda a dynamic duo," Jaiden said.

The family is grateful for the support of Angela's House, a nonprofit part of the Kinexion Network.

"I don't think we would be where we are today without Angela's House," Wettstein said.

"We helped them with the educational resources. We also helped them with the medical supplies and equipment, which is a daunting task in itself," said Bob Policastro, executive director and founder of Angela's House.

Policastro founded Angela's House 30 years ago after struggling to get proper pediatric home care for his daughter.

"It's all about giving these kids a life that any child deserves," he said.

Even though the twins still have their medical hurdles, they're proving it's possible to overcome the odds.

"If there's a will, there's a way," Jaiden said.

Jaiden leaves for college this weekend, while Lindsey heads out next weekend. Although this will be their first time apart, they're both really looking forward to this next chapter.

The twins' mother says she spent so much time worrying about them and wishes someone told her years ago, "It's going to be OK." She hopes sharing this story spreads hope.

To learn more about Angela's House, visit

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