Doctors Try to Stop Giant Woman’s Growth
By Katie Crowther, KTNV
A Nevada woman is nearly seven feet tall because of a rare disorder.
Now, doctors think they may have a way to stop her growth.
Swimming in a salt-water pool brings Tanya Angus a rare sense of comfort.
“This is the only place, the only time I feel no pain,” she said.
That’s because in the water, she’s weightless.
At nearly seven feet tall, and 400 pounds, her body is slowly giving out.
Tanya is just 33-years-old, but can barely walk and needs constant care.
Ten years ago, she was diagnosed with acromegaly, a rare disease that causes gigantism.
The disease is caused by a tumor that’s pushing on Tanya’s pituitary gland, causing an overload of growth hormone.
After three brain surgeries, radiation, and a variety of experimental treatments, she’s finally made progress.
For the first time ever, Tanya’s blood level for her disease fits in the normal range.
Her mother, Karen, couldn’t be happier because it’s a sign Tanya may be able to stop growing.
That means doctors could better manage her pain and possibly prolong her life.
“It gives us renewed hope, and it will give other people renewed hope,” explained Karen Strutynski, Tanya’s mother.
Providing that hope for others is what keeps Tanya fighting.
“I read e-mails that people send in saying, ‘you’re my inspiration,’ or, ‘you are so strong.’ If I’m helping people, I feel like I can do anything,” said Tanya.
Tanya speaks at conferences to raise awareness about the disease.