Sunday, August 26, 2007

World's tallest women

In 1976 Sandy Allen was declared the “world’s tallest woman - living” by Guinness Book of World Records. Allen is a towering lady at 7′ 7 1/4″. Amazingly this is not far beyond the recognized world’s tallest living man - Xi Shun (7′ 8.95″). Allen has since spent her life traveling around the world encouraging people that it is OK to be different. Allen was born in 1955, at age 22 she underwent surgery to stop her growth. Without this she would have continued to grow and suffer further medical problems associated with gigantism.

At age 11, she had already grown to 188 cm, and was 203 cm at age 15. Her parents, poor peasants from the Chinese province of Anhui, sold her to a circus, where she was enslaved as an attraction during her adolescence. Later, she returned to her mother (who, surprisingly enough, is only 4 ft 8 in tall), where she is still living now.

Yao Defen of China, (born 15 July 1972), claims to be the tallest female in the world. She states that her height is 2.36 meters (7 ft 8 in) tall and that she weighs 200 kg, though this has yet to be confirmed by Guinness World Records. Her gigantism is the result of a tumor that is located within her pituitary gland. She is currently under observation in Shanghai and is expected to undergo surgery to remove the tumor in 2007.

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