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The artist and poet, Kahlil Gibran, once said, “You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore but let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of heaven dance between you.”


Early On

Identical twins are a pair of twins who share the same gene set, resemble each other very closely, are the same sex, developed from a single ovum that splits. Madeline and Marlowe, are two of these unique souls. Born early at thirty-one weeks in New York City, both where placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for their first month of life.  Madeline, the oldest of the two had many challenges.  In addition to her early arrival, she was also identified with a heart condition while in utero. They left the hospital just days apart and have been inseparable ever since.

Their Bond

A bond so strong quickly developed as the twins began to grow; a knowing look, a special secret language only the two of them understand. Today at age four Madeline and Marlowe, like many other twins enjoy playing tricks on their parents.

Madeline continues to face challenges, she is non-verbal and is learning to use a Augmentative Communication Device. Their parents Bonnie and Bengt may not always know what Madeline’s needs are due to her speech impairment, but they only need to look towards Marlowe as she always knows what Madeline needs. This bond goes beyond just their images, Marlowe as the younger twin enjoys caring for her sister.  Marlowe can be found making things for Madeline, picking out toys for them to share, knows when her older sister isn’t feeling well and as they were in utero they always seem to find each other at night while sleeping. The magic of their special shared sisterhood is indescribable and reaches beyond this extraordinary relationship. Marlowe has been and continues to be Madeline’s voice.


Early Intervention

Very early on, the Asplund’s noticed developmental delays with Madeline and soon began Early Intervention services. The assistance, support and education they received was life changing. When Madeline’s family started looking at United Cerebral Palsy of Long Island, the family was introduced to the agency’s Social Worker, Jennifer. Jennifer immediately saw something special in Madeline and recommended UCP-LI’s services to support Madeline and her needs.  Madeline is learning to reach her full potential at UCP, in addition she is supported by therapy programs abroad and Madeline’s Movement – a foundation created by the Asplund family to aid families affected by Cerebral Palsy.


The Children’s Center

Today, Madeline is thriving in The Children’s Center preschool program. Her teachers and aides call her “The Mayor” because her fellow students naturally gravitate towards her because she’s so warm and engaging. For someone who is still learning to speak, that says a lot about Madeline and what her future holds.

“The Children’s Center is a place that encourages and pushes their students to be their very best. Madeline works hard every day because the staff makes even the most difficult activities exciting for her. Every time, I enter the school they are doing something to make being at school enjoyable for the children and you can tell that every member of the staff works there out of love.” says Bonnie, Madeline and Marlowe’s mom.


The programs and caring staff at UCP of Long Island have helped Madeline to become stronger physically; each day she is gaining confidence and slowly becoming more independent. Recently, Madeline was introduced to an Augmentative Communication device in her Speech Therapy program. She is learning how to improve accuracy by sustaining posture and head control in order to use her eyes to activate the communication device. She can now activate cause and effect, select her own food choices and saying “I love you” are among the first words she has said.


The Children’s Center is at the forefront of Early Intervention, Preschool, and School Age programming, serving infants and children with disabilities annually with innovative programs designed to meet the needs of Long Island’s children and their families.

Won’t you be a part of something special!  Your generosity enables us to give children like Madeline the opportunity to access their full potential and continue LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS. On behalf of all of the children and adults we serve annually THANK YOU for making a difference in their lives.

Please consider making a generous contribution today so that we can continue to create LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS.


Your support truly makes a difference and helps create Life Without Limits for children and adults with disabilities! Thank you.


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