No, these photos are not photoshopped. His size is real. This young man from Michigan just won’t stop growing. And there’s a reason for it.
For any parent, the growth of your child is a major concern. Especially for a new parent of a first child, it’s especially concerning. You hope that your child will continue to grow and be healthy. But sometimes a child doesn’t grow in a normal way. For this mother, her only child was growing too fast. And he wouldn’t stop.
Bigger Than the Others
A mother from Michigan, Darci Moss Elliot, gave birth to her son, Broc Brown. He was born at a healthy weight and size – weighing just under eight pounds and measuring 22-inches-long.
But as Broc started to grow, it was clear to Darci that something wasn’t normal. Broc was growing at an incredible rate and was bigger than all the other children. She didn’t know why and like any concerned mother, she needed to find out what was going on.
Ahead of the Game
As a baby and young child, Broc Brown was a happy kid like the other children his age. But at an early age, however, it became apparent that Broc was ahead of his peers.
Most kids go through growth spurts, but Broc seemed to be on one continuous growth spurt that just wouldn’t stop. As Broc got closer to kindergarten, a shocking observation was made that made that really made something brought things into light. There was no denying it now.
A Kindergarten Giant
Darci, Broc’s mother, was mystified by her son’s rapid growth. By kindergarten, her young boy was already towering over his fellow kindergarteners at 5-foot 2-inches tall!
You might want to know that the average height of five-year-old boy in America is a little under four feet. So Broc was way above his peers on the growth chart. Now, Broc’s mother couldn’t deny that her son was unlike the rest, even most! She was getting very concerned.
Learning to Ride a Bike
At this point, Broc Brown was about as tall as his mother, Darci. Her sister Stacy, Broc’s aunt, said: “When he was small, he couldn’t ride a bike. But when you’re trying to teach a 6-year-old who’s the same size as you, it’s hard. You can’t stabilize him.”
Apart from the usual hobbies that children like to take part in, Broc’s mother noticed that it was getting more difficult for her to do regular day-to-day things to care for her young son due to his unusual growth. People had questions. And Broc’s family didn’t have the answers. But they would soon find out.
Difficult for Darci
Darci’s health paid the price. It was getting increasingly harder to mother Broc. “When you have a five-year-old who has hurt themselves and they come running at you, you pick them up,” said Darci. “I would carry him around when he was half the size of me so I have a lot of back problems.”
She was understandably worried about Broc. So the family decided to take it to the professionals. They took him to the doctor to find out what was going on with him.
Broc went through many consultations and the medical professionals ran tests on him. His family was eagerly waiting to hear what the medical reason for his growth was.
Broc received a diagnosis at the age of five. He was diagnosed with a rare condition that affects about one in every 15,000 people. After a long and tense wait, his family finally heard the news. The doctors finally determined that he had a hereditary condition called Sotos Syndrome, also referred to as “cerebral gigantism.”
And with every diagnosis, there’s also a prognosis.
Won’t Stop Growing
“There’s nothing that can stop him from growing – I don’t know if he will ever stop,” his mother Darci has said. Even though Broc’s family now had a diagnosis and medical explanation for his growth, they were still worried because they had no idea what the future would hold for him.
His family was dealing with the diagnosis and with the fear of what would happen to him. And now they had to deal with the prognosis.
A Discouraging Prognosis
Darci had to hear what the doctors would predict as the outcome for young Broc. The doctors told her that it was unlikely that her son would outlive his teenage years. Darci was devastated.
And if you’re wondering if there’s treatment available, there isn’t. Apparently, there’s no standard treatment for Sotos syndrome and those with the genetic disorder are treated on a symptomatic basis. Despite this dark forecast, no one could have foreseen the incredible events that would happen.
People with the rare genetic disorder Sotos syndrome are prone to excessive physical growth, particularly in the early years of life until the teenage years.
While there are other behavioral and medical issues associated with cerebral gigantism, most individuals affected by the condition generally measure in the average height range by adulthood. But Broc Brown was different. And his case wasn’t like the others.
So what would come of Broc?
Continuing to Grow
Michigan boy Broc Brown continued to develop faster than his classmates throughout his middle school years. Even in high school, his height was almost unconceivable for a kid his age.
Broc, aside from his height, was like any teenage boy. He like to fish and spend time with his friends. At the age of 11, Brock was already 6-feet-tall. By age 14, he loomed over most of the rest of his class at a height of seven-feet-tall.
Broc’s doctors noted how Broc was different from others with his syndrome.
Medical experts noted that Broc Brown was larger than most people with the genetic disorder. This caused doctors and his family to become increasingly concerned about his health.
Despite the doctors’ prognosis that Broc wouldn’t make it past his teen years, he was defying the odds. He continued growing well into his early teen years. When Brown was 14, his family was becoming hopeful. They saw that he was still growing and he was managing.
But then they received distressing news.
Another Discouraging Prediction
Just as Broc’s family was feeling hopeful, they had to hear more depressing news. Now, doctors were saying that it was possible that he wouldn’t make it past this age.
Broc was suffering from symptoms that are common among people who have Soto syndrome. He suffers from a strain on his heart, a curvature of the spine, ADHD, intermittent explosive disorder and some learning difficulties. He was born with only one kidney and therefore doctors said that he can’t take painkillers, despite his chronic discomfort.
“It kind of feels like a big tennis racket has gone through my back,” he has said about his chronic pain. “I do stuff to stop it hurting and it makes me feel like there’s a needle gone through it – it’s hard to deal with.”
With Broc experiencing chronic pain, his family tried their best to make life more comfortable for him. It wasn’t clear whether he’d ever stop growing. So his mother took extra measures and had to make things fit Broc.
Extra Large Stuff
The ever-growing teen had a custom-made eight-foot bed and a special chair that cost them $1,000. His tailor-made bedroom comes in handy when he sleeps up to 16 hours a day.
Despite all of the difficulty that Broc and his family faces every day, his aunt Stacy said that he “takes on his condition day by day with a smile on his face.” His mother happily added: “Overall he is a big softie, his heart is as big as his body.”
But Broc had only one wish.
Amazingly, Broc has kept a bright attitude through it all. Those who know him have can see that not only is his height extraordinary. He also has a great personality. The humble young man has one request.
Broc has one wish: “I just wish the doctors could do something to help my pain.” The poor kid just wants to feel better. As most teens wish for tickets to the Super Bowl, or to go to some awesome concert, Broc only wanted to feel okay.
So what is normal for Broc?
Due to his condition, everyday activities are challenging for Broc. Standing for long times, walking through doors and riding in cars can prove to be difficult talks. What may go unnoticed to the average person, is something that causes an issue for Broc.
Sitting in restaurant booths, going to movies and fitting into small spaces are not easy feats. But Broc would soon become part of an incredible experience that would hugely impact his life.
Broc Brown was well-known growing up in Jackson, Michigan. But the teen went on to gain recognition on an international scale. In fact, he even broke an international record.
Until 2015, Brown held the Guinness World Record title of the world’s tallest teenager until he turned 19 and became too old for the classification. And despite all the predictions that he wouldn’t make it past the age of 14, his record is even more remarkable.
Broc was about to be part of something life-changing.
Things started to take a new turn. Broc participated in a TLC documentary called “Tallest Teens” in 2016. The show highlighted the lives of a handful of American youth who top the growth chart.
During that making of the show, Broc was finally able to do something he’d never done before. He got to meet and interact with other people with Sotos syndrome. His mother said how the experience was particularly positive for her son and allowed him to understand that he wasn’t alone.
Broc Brown’s growth rate hasn’t slowed down. At the age of 19, he had reached an extraordinary height of 7-foot 8-inches. He was like a tower compared to everyone around him. According to his mom, he is growing at the rate of six inches a year.
It’s estimated that Brown could beat the current record holder of the world’s tallest man, if his height continues at this pace.
But Broc would continue to reach even more TV fame.
The Maury Show
Broc’s appearance on television didn’t end with the TLC program. He was also featured on an anti-bullying episode of The Maury Show in 2016. Broc and his mother, Darci, shared their story and gave an encouraging message about putting an end to bullying.
After being on the show, the Maury team gave Broc some gifts, including a new wheelchair and a 10-year supply of Broc’s favorite fish sticks made by Gorton’s. The family was very grateful for the generous gifts. And they definitely didn’t anticipate what else was in store for them.
Aside from all the caring people and the warm environment that normally surrounds Broc, his participation on the recent TV shows created some amazing responses that had a big impact on him, his family and people close to him.
After the Maury show aired, Broc was contacted by more people who wanted to share their support. His family heard from others in Michigan who have Sotos syndrome or who have children with the condition. His family was really pleased to hear from everyone who was reaching out to them.
But Broc’s medical issues weren’t going away.
While buying clothes can be an expensive feature of growing up in general, Broc Brown’s need to find clothes that fit him and remain comfortable was difficult, not to mention expensive. Due to his size, Broc was regularly in need of specially-designed clothing.
In addition to the custom-made furniture that Broc Brown needed for his bedroom, he also needed a custom-made wardrobe. At 7-foot 8-inches and growing, everyday items like shoes, shirts and socks were almost impossible to find.
Broc’s family had to start to think outside of the box if they wanted to make ends meet. The family already set up a Support Page for Broc Brown on Facebook. But they were floored when the forum attracted more than 15,000 likes after the TLC documentary aired on TV.
The Michigan community also wanted to pitch in and help the family out. And the family is extremely grateful for all the love and support they were receiving. Benefits for Broc have been held and they fundraised about $10,400.
But that’s not all.
A Basketball Lover’s Dream
Broc never expected to get so much attention and support from social media. Someone even donated tickets to a Detroit Pistons basketball. Broc even got to meet some of the players. That’s not something that any regular person gets to experience!
Even though they managed to raise funds and get financial support, the family was still struggling. According to his mom, the funds “didn’t last long, we had a lot of outfits but within a year he was out of them and it was time to do it all again.”
While specialty socks for his size-28 feet can cost $20 per pair, shoes can be even more of a challenge when it comes to his extraordinary size and the need for pain-relieving comfort. This means he can only really have one pair of shoes. And still, amazingly, he doesn’t complain.
Luckily for Broc, a revolutionary new technology has finally become a relatively affordable footwear option for Broc. The California-based company Feetz offered their services which can use 3-D printing to make shoes at about half the price than regular custom-fit shoes. When Broc received his first pair of the custom kicks by Feetz, he was over the moon ecstatic. “Heck, I don’t like them. I love them. Thank you” were his words.
But Broc’s medical condition was to face another outcome.
Although all the fundraising and support they received was helpful and distracting, Broc’s medical condition along with his undeterminable future was still loud and clear. And now there was a medical update that would completely catch Broc and family off guard.
Despite having the difficulty of being in confined spaces, Broc and his mother took the 1,000-mile flight from their home to Arkansas to visit a specialist. And he would deliver some of the most surprising news they’d heard in a long time.
A New Prognosis
Broc was finally able to meet with a Sotos specialist. When he met Dr. Bradley Schaefer of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, he got a promising prognosis. Although his chief geneticist said before that there was little he could do for his chronic spine pain, he now got positive news.
Doctors kept telling them that Broc Brown would have a short life. So clearly, it came as a surprise to them when Dr. Schaefer gave him some of the best news of his life. Already proving doctors wrong about his life expectancy, Broc’s condition was revisited by Dr. Schaefer who determined that he was out of life-threatening danger!
The Tallest Man
“Broc is easily the tallest man I have ever seen,” said Dr. Schaefer “Unfortunately, he will always have to deal with some form of pain, but I believe that he will now have a regular lifespan.” Now that Broc was given the “green light” from an expert on his condition, Broc had an emotional response.
Broc Brown, the amazingly eternal optimist, was able to look past the less promising details and focus on the good news. “It’s the best thing I could have heard,” said Brown. “I’m so happy that I will live for a long time.”
It’s common for people with Sotos syndrome to maintain a peak height in adulthood, but it’s not clear whether that will be the case for Broc. It could mean that he might never be able to live alone. Nonetheless, him and his family remain hopeful and in good spirits.
If Broc keeps growing at this rate of six inches a year, by the age of 21, he could surpass the height of the world’s current tallest man – Turkey’s Sultan Kosen, who measures in at an incredible 8-feet 2-inches.
Despite the pain he has resulting from his condition, Brown has amazed everyone with his achievements. Being an optimist, he always looks forward to the future and has his own aspirations.
“I want to work for a sporting goods store so something like that, a cashier or something,” Brown has stated. “I just want to have my own job.” Brown and his mother are looking forward to spending a long future together. She doesn’t want to push him to do anything outside of his comfort zone. “I just hope he has a good life and is happy with everything he ever does,” the loving mother wishes for her son.
Support Page For Broc
If you’re curious and want to know more about Broc or his condition, you can go to his Facebook page. As you can see from this post, they aim to bring Sotos syndrome into awareness.
Aside from posting about his condition and getting support from people, they are also giving updates. And recently, in November of this year, Broc has received another diagnosis.
A New Diagnosis
Unfortunately, Broc has recently received a new diagnosis. The 21 year old has discovered that he has diabetes. And he’s been in the hospital to get his sugar levels regulated. The support page is asking for people to keep him in their thoughts.
Judging by the photo they posted, Broc is continuing to keep a smile on his face. Despite all of his hardships, he remains hopeful. For sure, the attention he receives is keeping him afloat.
A Little Bit about Sotos Syndrome
Yes, we already know that Sotos is a rare genetic disorder. But it might be of interest to know a little more about the condition to better understand what Broc and others with Sotos have to go through.
The disorder is characterized by excessive physical growth during the first years of life. The excessive growth starts in infancy and continues into the early teen years. It may be accompanied by autism, mild intellectual disability, delayed motor, cognitive, and social development, hypotonia (low muscle tone), and speech impairments.
A Never-Ending List of Ailments
It’s tough to image what Broc and others with Sotos have to go through. Individuals with Sotos often have intellectual impairment, and most have behavioral problems. Unfortunately, the list goes on.
They also suffer from frequent behavioral impairments like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, tantrums, and impulsive behaviors (impulse control disorder). Problems with speech and language are also common. Other signs include scoliosis, seizures, heart or kidney defects, hearing loss, and problems with vision.
The condition is clearly one that involves a lot of suffering, but we don’t want to end things like this. We have something to brighten things up a bit.
Guiness World Records
Some Guiness world records are really remarkable. We wanted to end on a lighter note and show you some of the most popular and amusing world records.
Meet Zeus. He’s the world’s tallest dog. In October 2011, he was recorded as the world’s tallest dog. He’s a Great Dane from Michigan, US and his height is 1,118cm.
Meet Ekaterina Lisina, a Russian model with the record for the longest legs. In June 2017, she received the world record for legs that are 132.8cm in length!
Ekaterina is a former basketball player and also holds the record for the world’s tallest professional model. In case you’re wondering, the measurements are taken from the bottom of the heel up to the top of the hip.
Are you hungry? You might be once you see this pizza. In December 2012, the largest pizza was prepared by Dovilio Nardi, Andrea Mannocchi, Marco Nardi, Matteo Nardi and Matteo Giannotte (all Italy).
Its total surface area is 1,261.65 m² (13,580.28 ft²). The pizza was named “Ottavia”, a word of Roman origin for “eighth son”, as a homage to the first Roman emperor Octavian Augustus. Oh, and Ottavia was 100% gluten-free.
If you like chewing bubble gum, or like seeing bubbles, this one might amuse you. In April 2004, Chad Fell from Winston County, USA, received the world record for the largest bubble gum bubble ever blown.
The bubble was 50.8cm in diameter. Apparentl, Chad said the secret of his success is blowing with three pieces of Dubble Bubble gum. Now that’s one huge bubble.
Mehmet Ozyurek, from Turkey, has the longest nose on a living person. In March 2010, he received the world record for his 8.8cm long nose.
One must wonder if he has a super sense of smell!