Tallest teenager - Brenden Adams sets world
ELLENSBURG, WA, USA -- Brenden Adams, 14,
is 7 foot 5 inches , setting the world record for the tallest
Photo: Thirteen-year-old Brenden Adams,
from Washington, USA, is the world's
tallest teenager, standing 7 foot 4 inches tall. Photo:
photo) Brenden Adams: "It was my 12th
chromosome that broke in half and flipped over and reattached,"
although doctors do not know what exactly caused his rapid
growth after birth.
Normal-sized at birth, Brenden grew quickly
– getting all his baby teeth by four months and growing as
tall as an 8-year old by the time he was 4.
Still, he is extremely limited on the football
field. "He can't run, he can't really jump," his coach Kevin
Wetzel told KXLY4. "There's not a whole lot he can do. If
you want to get him some action, you have to be creative."
So Wetzel designed a play specifically for
him. He goes out on a five-yard buttonhook play and the quarterback
just floats the ball up to him. Even the next tallest player
on the field can't jump nearly as high as Brendan can reach.
In Brenden’s case, his 12th chromosomes
don’t match. Experts don’t know why, but the middle of one
of them broke off, flipped around and re-attached at the zygote
stage of development, disrupting a critical gene that controls
“This gene is functioning despite
the regulation that it shouldn’t be,” said Dr. Gad Kletter,
Brenden’s endocrinologist at Swedish Hospital in Seattle.
“It’s over-functioning. He was predicted to be over eight
Kletter finally figured out how to stop
Brenden Adam’s hyperactive growth gene – by inducing puberty.
“We induced puberty,” explained Kletter about the weekly shots
of testosterone, “to fuse the bones and stop the growth.”
And so far, the shots seem to be successful.
Brenden's growth has slowed down.
Brenden’s mom, Debbie Ezell, said he requires
a team of doctors simply to stay on top of his ever-growing
frame. He has oversized joints that restrict his movements,
fatty tumors, and extra teeth – twelve of which were recently
Amazingly, his dad, Willie Adams,
said there was no hint of any of this when Brenden was born
at 7 pounds, 3 ounces and 19 1/2 inches in length. His mom
says they first started to notice something was different
at his 2 month check-up. "They said, these measurements just
aren't right. He's too long," Ezell said. "And at four months,
he had all of his teeth."
Brenden has a terribly hard time finding
clothes and often is the subject of long stares from people
when he walks around in public.
Oprah Winfrey enlisted the help of her superstar
basketball playing friend Shaquille O’Neal to fulfill Brenden’s
dream of meeting his favorite celebrity. At 7'2" tall and
350lbs, Shaq is no stranger to sticking out like a sore thumb
in a crowd, and was happy to hang out with Brenden for a couple
Shaq even brought Brenden to his personal
tailor to get fitted for some new threads.
When a charity offered to grant him a wish,
he asked for a bicycle big enough for him to ride without
his knees cramping in pain.
His favorite subjects in school: "Probably
PE and math." His dream car: "a 1969 Dodge Charger."
The good news is the Ellerton, Washington
community has embraced the good-hearted youngster as one of
their own. Community fundraising helped Brenden’s family build
a new home with extra high ceilings and doorways, but the
gangly preteen still has a hard time folding himself into
In his mom's sport utility vehicle,
he has to fold down the second row of seats, sit in the third
row and stretch his legs out over the middle row in order
to sit comfortably. His shoe size is 18 and still growing.
"No one has his condition in the world,
but then no one in the world has his heart of gold," Ezell
said. "People are kind, people are generous, but I don't believe
there's anyone with a heart like his." Related world records: Tallest
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