How would you feel if people never stopped staring at you? Perhaps you have had this happen, even if it wasn’t your choice? Sometimes, we just want to blend in with the crowd and not stand out like a sore thumb. Sadly, one boy doesn’t have an option when it comes to blending in with everyone else. However, people were in for a shock when they learned the real reason he was always catching so many eyes.
Standing out in a crowd
Have you ever had one of those days when you just want to put on some sunglasses and a baseball cap and completely disappear into the crowd? Perhaps you manage to embarrass yourself, or maybe you are having a bad hair day?
Most of us have been there, and there is nothing to be ashamed about. However, some people don’t have a choice about whether they will capture everyone’s attention or not. Broc Brown always knew he was different, but never could have guessed how much it would affect his entire life. It was one rollercoaster ride after another for this family as they learn to come to terms with this life-altering appearance.
Broc Brown was born back in 1997 at a healthy 22-inches long and eight pounds. He was everything mom, Darci Moss Elliot, had been hoping for. As children begin to grow up, it can be hard to see where the time goes.
Before you know it, they are walking and talking. Then it’s time to head off to college and onto the next stage of their lives. Why do they have to grow up so quickly? Only, some children grow faster than others. Sure, girls tend to be taller than boys at a younger age, but surely they aren’t taller than the teachers when they’re in kindergarten? That’s what we’d like to think…
Quick to notice
It wasn’t long before everyone knew there was something different about Broc. The youngster stood at five foot two inches. Sounds pretty normal, right? Well, it would be if he wasn’t about to start kindergarten!
By the time Broc was six years old, he already stood at six-foot tall. He towered over everyone else his age and even overtook his mom. Now they definitely knew that something was happening. Was Broc eating something different, or maybe he was magic?
As Broc continued to grow, so did the list of troubles Darci was facing. As well as trying to figure out what was causing her son to shoot upwards, Darci was still trying to raise a young child.
So how does someone console a child that can look down to their parents? Darci admits she began to have trouble with her back from trying to pick up her youngster and cuddle him in times of need. There had to be an answer to the problem. Surely Broc would stop growing at some point?
As the teenage years snuck around, Broc continued to grow and grow. It looked as though there was no end in sight.
Broc still managed to enjoy hanging around with his friends and fishing, but by the time he was 14 years old, Broc had already outgrown the doors at his school. While all his other friends were just starting their growth spurts, Broc was pushing way past 6-foot. Broc reports that he used to enjoy the attention his great height gained him, but there were plenty of other issues that came with it too.
This one’s just right
One of the hardest things for Broc over the years has been finding a comfortable bed. After all, his size means that his legs often hang out the end of a standard bed.
Thankfully, Darci has found a way to make her son’s life more comfortable. Now, Broc had his very own eight-foot long bed that means he can fit his entire body snuggly under the duvet. To top it off, the family has also forked out on a $1,000 custom chair that incorporates his height.
It’s not just furniture that is an issue for the youngster. Broc has always had problems finding shoes and clothes that fit his enormous frame.
His growing height has seen the family hand over thousands of dollars as they have to have all of Broc’s outfits custom made. Plus, the youngster only had a limited number of shoes. Although he has a few pairs in the wardrobe, Broc must make do with the same pair of sneakers for months due to their cost.
Time for TV
As soon as TLC heard about Broc’s unusual circumstances, they signed him up for their latest show titled Tallest Teens. The series follows the lives of teenagers that have all grown up way taller than anyone ever thought.
Broc was just one of many to appear on the show, and the series had some huge effects on the teenager. In fact, Broc admitted that meeting others in his situation has helped him to become more confident with his height. However, it still didn’t explain why he wouldn’t stop growing.
As well as his towering height, Broc has some other significant issues he has had to deal with throughout his life.
Broc has also been diagnosed with ADHD, learning defects, intermittent explosive disorder, curvature of the spine, and a strain on his heart. As if the constant comments about his frame weren’t enough, Broc must also deal with the health issues coming his way. Could they all be linked, and was there ever a way to put an end to them all?
Discovering the truth
There was nothing left to do but head to a doctor. What would they have to say about young Broc? Hopefully, the doctors would have an answer that would put everyone’s minds at risk.
The results were in, and it was time to find out what was causing Broc to grow so tall. Sotos Syndrome, or cerebral gigantism. Broc first discovered he had the condition when he was five years old and was about to spend the rest of his life learning all of its intricate details.
What does it mean?
Sotos Syndrome is said to affect around one in every 15,000 but is usually picked up when people are still youngsters.
It is often noticed when children begin to grow a lot faster than their friends or siblings and will continue to grow well into the teenage years. However, it is still a rare illness that many medical professionals have never seen. Things weren’t looking good. Now Broc had a diagnosis, would he be able to find a cure or at least a way to deal with it?
Although there was now an answer to the family’s questions, there were more troubles still lurking in the water below. Doctors warned Darci that it was unlikely that Broc would survive past his teenage years, everyone was devastated.
Could they bring themselves to tell Broc? Well, there was even more news in store. Broc was 14 years old at the time, but doctors had discovered there were slim chances of him ever living to see life past 15. Things couldn’t get worse.
It doesn’t end there
As Broc continued to grow, his health issues continued to progress. The teenager had always suffered from pain in his back, but now it was getting worse than ever.
Sadly, Broc only has one kidney. This means the teenager can’t take any pain medication even when he is agony. The biggest issue for Broc over the years has been his back pain, but would he ever know what it felt like to live life pain-free? Although Broc found ways to relieve it, the ache never entirely went away.
It was time to take the trip of a lifetime in a bid to try and put an end to his pain, even if it was a temporary fix. Traveling has always been hard for Broc thanks to his size.
In fact, getting into a car or on a plane is almost impossible. However, the teen and his mom managed to squeeze onto a flight for a 1,000-mile journey to Arkansas to meet Dr. Bradley Schaefer – a specialist in Sotos Syndrome. It looked as though there might finally be someone to help with all the pain.
As well as helping find answers to his pain, Broc was looking to make a way for his size to be more affordable for him and his family. It was then that a 3D printing company got in touch with the teen.
Feetz had designed a way to use the printer to create shoes that cost just a fraction of the original prices the family had been paying. Broc was ecstatic to receive his first pair, and it looked as though he would finally be able to afford a selection of footwear.
Although Broc was still trying to find answers to his illness, the teenager was also continuing to grow. In fact, Broc was still growing at six inches a year!
His height had been the talk of the town for a long time, but now Broc was one of the most popular people in the neighborhood. As well as winning the popularity contest, this teen was in for another surprise. Guinness World Records named Broc Brown as officially the tallest teen – would it ever stop?
Broc initially believed he was talking to Dr. Bradley Schaefer to help with his back pain. However, that wasn’t the only news he was in for. Dr. Schaefer announced Broc had blown away all the statistics – he was in for a healthy lifespan!
No one could believe the good news, and at long last Darci knew her son would be safe. To top it off, Broc was now able to go about his daily life without constant pain. The good news just kept rolling in.
Broc’s story quickly picked up plenty of interest from people all around the world. That’s why back in 2016, he and Darci were invited onto the talk show the Maury Show to discuss everything that had happened.
When being interviewed, Broc admitted he had suffered bullying for many years. The Maury Show organized for Broc to get a chance to talk with other people living with the syndrome, as well as funding a brand new wheelchair for the teen.
Help from the community
As well as the help from the show, Broc was in for yet another surprise: support from the community. Everyone was heartbroken to hear the financial toll Broc’s condition had taken on the family.
People from all across Broc’s home city began to raise money and donate what they could to help improve their lives. Would they be able to help? They didn’t just help; these strangers raised a whopping $10,400! That was more than enough for Broc to buy a wardrobe of clothes and support his family.
What the future holds
Broc currently stands at seven-foot nine-inches tall, but could still be set to grow even taller. At this rate, he could be set to overtake Sultan who now stands as the world’s tallest living man at eight-foot two-inches.
However, Broc is just looking forward to finding a career and living his life. Recently, the 21-year-old has undergone surgery to have a lipoma removed from his hip, as well as getting a motorized wheelchair to accommodate his size.