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Brooke’s husband Michael said he didn’t know anything about it either until Brooke started researching the disease online. He was 20 when she got pregnant. They were young and the doctors were telling them everything was fine, he said.

When they went back one week later, there was only one heartbeat.

“Nothing brought it to our attention, and we didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

Brooke said she lost Willis at 22 weeks, so she had to carry him for eight more weeks.

“It’s just hard to think you’re carrying around your child who’s not living anymore,” she said.

“Then people think that it’s something you’re not ever supposed to talk about.”

Brooke and Michael, however, have been open about what happen with their son and other children.

Walker visits his twin brother’s grave often, and Brooke and Michael’s a 5-year-old daughter Jolie is quick to tell people she has four siblings, including her 18-month-old brother Cooper.

“They’re both that way about him, and it’s because we always acknowledge him,” Brooke said.

Michael said Walker still does get upset about his brother from time to time.

Talking about it and visiting his grave, Brooke said, helps him deal with it.

“He’ll talk about it still and how he misses him,” Michael said. “He tries to talk with his friends about it at school. Just like bringing up the walk. He’s doing pretty good about not trying to forget about it.”

It was Walker’s idea to have the walk.

The family attended a TTTS memorial walk in Ohio this past summer. A month later, the walk inspired Walker to ask his mother about hosting a walk closer to home.

“I kind of brushed it off, saying we’re so busy, maybe when you’re older,” Brooke said. “He asked if that could just be his birthday party. I just couldn’t tell him no. I’ll make it happen somehow. But I couldn’t tell him no.”

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