Watch CBS News

Donors Step Up To Help San Francisco's Iconic Brown Twins

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - Donations have poured in to help the iconic Brown twins remain together since the older sister, Vivian, developed Alzheimer's requiring round the clock care that landed her in the hospital.

Until her stay at Davies Medical Center, Vivian A. Brown was rarely seen apart from her identical sister Marian B. Brown. And the two always wore matching outfits that won them local celebrity and appearances in national advertising campaigns pitching airlines, computers and sneakers.

KCBS' Susan Kennedy Reports:

With few residuals from those lavish days, the Brown sisters subsisted in a rent-controlled apartment, watching the traffic whiz by on Bush Street at their favorite dining spot, Uncle Vito's.

Then Vivian took a fall, and the cost of her ensuing hospitalization at California Pacific Medical Center has the 85-year-old women facing financial problems all too common for elderly people struggling to live out their final years in San Francisco, said Judy Lynch, director of senior services Jewish Family and Children's Services.

"It ranges from $2,000 to $7,000 per month for various types of care in boarding cares, nursing homes and assisted living," she said, adding that the Brown twins are just two of some 13,000 in the Bay Area the fund helps find affordable care and make ends meet.

So that her sister can be discharged from the hospital, Marian Brown is searching for an assisted living facility in the city where they have spent most of their lives. Many in their situation wind up moving out of San Francisco.

Fortunately donors have answered former Mayor Willie Brown's call to help the twins by sending money to the San Francisco Emergency Assistance Fund overseen by the organization, said development director Barbara Farber.

The uptick in donations has been everything from a $5 bill in an envelope to checks for hundreds of dollars, she said.

"The twins will be taken care of. Jewish Family and Children's Services are going to make sure they're taken care of," Farber said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.