Tanya Angus, the woman with the world’s worst case of gigantism, died early Monday morning from heart failure and a mini-stroke, according to her website.
Tanya was 34 years old and nearly 7 feet tall and weighing more than 400 pounds at the time of her death.
Before the onset of acromegaly, a rare disorder that doesn’t let people stop growing, Tanya was 21 years old and 5-foot-8, weighing 130 pounds and leading a normal life. But then a tumor wrapped around her pituitary gland, causing an excess of growth hormone to be released into her body. Tanya had the only known case of acromegaly in which “surgery, medication and other treatments have not been successful in stopping her growth.”
Still, Tanya and her family spent the last 12 years looking for a cure, and last year, they thought maybe they had finally found one as her growth hormone levels had fallen within the normal range. But the hope was short lived, and the levels started to climb again until finally, “the extreme pressure on her body … caused her heart to fail,” says the Daily Mail.
Throughout her struggle, she was an inspiration to those with the disease, raising awareness and encouraging others to seek early treatment. Tanya’s mother, Karen Strutynski, will maintain her website and continue to correspond with others dealing with the disease.