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A rare pair

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By Elizabeth Troutman

Luke and Andrea Collins have always blown out candles on their birthday cakes together. Side-by-side, they open presents — a bit of a challenge for any brother and sister. And whereas most birthdays come around once a year, the Collins’ share Feb. 29 as a birthday, a date that only comes around every four years. But if they minded sharing the uncommon birthday, it wasn’t evident at Incredible Dave’s bowling lanes on Westport Road Friday. Their friends, a group of high school girls and middle school boys, mingled in the neon lighting of the bowling booth. They teased each other about their bowling scores, but remained on opposites sides of the booth. Andrea, 16, and Luke, 12, selected balls from the shoot, and lunged down the lane in unison. Although they get along, Andrea says they are like any other brother and sister. "I wouldn’t say it’s a special relationship,” Andrea said. “I rag on him all the time.” Their mother, Roxanne, believes there’s something special about having two children arrive on Leap Day. “I think deep down they like it,” Roxanne said. She remembers thinking it would be “neat” to have two children share a Leap Day birthday. She said there’s a one in 2.1 million chance siblings will be born on the same day. Both Andrea and Luke were expected to arrive in March, but Roxanne gave birth three weeks before their due dates. “When it was Luke’s turn, I was hoping for it,” she said. But for Andrea and Luke, revealing a Leap Year birthday brings on a spurt of jokes about their age. Andrea, who attends Oldham County High School, said a story in the high school newspaper spread word about her rare birth date. She said common jabs include accusations that she’s only four years old. She said sometimes her older brother, David, tells her she won’t be able to drive until she’s 64, or kids at the high school joke she won’t be able to drink alcohol until she’s 84. “I always have to explain it,” she said. Luke said he has fun with the jokes. “Technically, I am three,” Luke said. Liz Chace, who met Andrea earlier in the school year, said Andrea doesn’t reveal her birthday to many people. She thinks Andrea’s Leap Day birthday is “cool.” “She doesn’t talk to a lot of people about it,” she said. Maggie Lewis said she thinks Andrea’s Sweet 16 shouldn’t be shared with a sibling. “I’d ask my parents for separate birthdays if I was her,” she said. Andrea and Luke say they aren’t used to getting a lot of attention their birthday. They celebrate on March 1 with two cakes during non-Leap Years.

E-mail us about this story at: elizabeth@oldhamera.com