Grandma and granddaughter celebrate their 18th birthdays just days apart

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Not too many teenage girls celebrate the same birthday on the same day as their grandmother but that’s exactly what happened when Stoke’s Holly Young and her nana Jean Young blew out the candles on their 18th birthday cake on Sunday.

That may sounds a bit like a game show riddle but there’s actually a perfectly good explanation with Jean being born on a leap day back in 1944. Although the East Taieri grandmother is actually turning 72, she will officially be celebrating her 18th birthday alongside Holly who turns a slightly younger version of 18 on February 22.

“We’ll both be 18 so we’ll be old enough to go have a drink in the pub to celebrate,” Jean joked. “The girls all think it’s a great laugh.”

Holly says “it’s awesome” that she is sharing her 18th birthday with her grandmother and admits she has had a few strange looks when she tells her friends about it.

“They look at me like I’m joking but then they usually work it out,” Holly says.

It was the second time Jean has shared a birthday celebration with one of her granddaughters. Four years ago Jean turned 17 in the same year as Holly’s older sister Jess.

Jean, who has six grandchildren including five granddaughters, says she gave Holly a silver locket for her birthday.

“I’ve always given them some money for their birthdays up until they turn 18 and then I get them a silver locket,” Jean says. “But after that, they are on their own – they are old enough to look after themselves.”

Although Jean is turning 72, Holly’s mum Rebecca says her mother-in-law could easily pass for an 18-year-old.

“She’s a real laugh and has so much energy she’s just like an 18-year-old. She is always busy and playing bowls – she’s amazing.”