Gemini Untwined is the world’s leading charity dedicated to the research and treatment of craniopagus twins around the globe. Craniopagus twins (CPT) are two independent children that are connected to each other with fused skulls, intertwined brains, and shared blood vessels. It is an extremely rare condition, with about 50 CPT born each year, of which only about a dozen survive infancy, 78% die before turning one and 90% don’t make it beyond 10 years-old due to organ failure.
Our mission is to defy these odds and offer hope and medical solutions to craniopagus children; to further global health equity and access, enabling treatment and the training of medical teams across the world; and to continue to push the boundaries of medical innovation and research.
Established in 2018 by Dr Noor Ul Owase Jeelani, a leading British-Kashmiri neurosurgeon, Gemini has partnered with some of the world’s most renowned paediatric care facilities to carry out life-saving operations for CPT. The window to operate safely is small, so we must act quickly when the twins are less than a year old.
Because CPT are so rare, research into the epidemiology, natural history and anatomy of this condition is limited. In order to improve life outcomes and surgical techniques, funding research is vital to our mission.
Achievements to date:
In a short time, Gemini has demonstrated its impact. Gemini Untwined surgeons have carried out six craniopagus separation surgeries with all twelve children surviving the operations. Before Gemini’s foundation, our surgeons separated a set of British twins in 2006 and Rital & Ritag from Sudan in 2011.
Since Gemini was founded in 2019, the charity has funded travel, Great Ormond Street Hospital costs and family accommodation for two sets of twins: Safa & Marwa from Pakistan (2019), and Yigit & Deman from Turkey (2020).
Fulfilling another core objective of sharing surgical knowledge and empowering medical teams around the world, our team collaborated with Israel (2021) and Brazil (2022), preparing for surgery via virtual reality before Owase travelled to the home countries for the final separations. Following Arthur & Bernardo’s surgery, the Instituto Estadual do Cérebro in Rio became Gemini’s first Global Partner Hub, prepared to treat CPT in Latin America.
Gemini Untwined offers separation surgery for twins conjoined at the head, born anywhere in the world, through paediatric neuro and craniofacial multi-staged surgeries.
Gemini Untwined also carries out research into the anatomy, epidemiology of craniopagus twins and related complex neurological conditions in children, as well as the development of innovative technologies to improve surgical outcomes for children.