New hope for young woman suffering from gigantism
At nearly seven feet tall, and 400 pounds, Tanya Angus is rapidly deteriorating.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- At nearly seven feet tall and 400 pounds, Tanya Angus is rapidly deteriorating.
"I'm in constant pain," she says. "I'm only 33 years old but I can't walk. It's incredibly difficult."
Ten years ago, Tanya was diagnosed with Acromegaly. It's a rare disease that causes gigantism.
In Tanya's cause, the disease is caused by a tumor pushing on her pituitary gland, causing an overload of growth hormone.
Tanya has gone through three brain surgeries, radiation, and a variety of experimental medications. But, nothing has stopped her growth.
Her condition has been getting worse and her treatment options are running out. Her family fears that If she keeps growing, she may have to be institutionalized or go into hospice.
But this week, they got news that has restored their hope.
"For the first time ever, Tanya's blood level for her disease fits in the normal range," says Tanya's mom, Karin Strutynski. "If we can keep her in the normal range, she may be able to stop growing. That means doctors could better manage her pain and possibly prolong her life. We can't reverse the damage, but we can stop it."
"It's such great news," Tanya says. "I don't want to get my hopes up because this is the first time this has ever happened. But, hopefully this can bring hope to other people who have the disease too. Being an inspiration to them, is the reason I keep fighting."
Tanya really has become the face of this rare disease. She speaks out at conferences, raises awareness about getting tested for the disease, and has created her own website to help educate people.
Tanya says an international production company is working on a documentary to highlight her condition.
To learn more about Tanya and her disease, visit her website.