World's Tallest Teen More Than 7 Feet Tall

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True, Development Health

Brenden Adams

Brenden Adams is over 7 feet tall -- and he's only 13! Credit: ABC News

A 13-year-old Washington State boy was recently named the World's Tallest Teen by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Brenden Adams, of Ellensburg, Wash., is already 7 feet 4.6 inches tall, and still growing, according to a story on CNN. The teen's super-tall stature is all due to his 12th chromosome, which split in half.

His extreme height does have benefits -- he told CNN that "you don't get picked on as much." It does make it difficult to do the normal stuff that kids -- and adults -- do. Brenden said that he has a hard time fitting into cars and that he often attracts the curious stares of strangers.

According to ABC News, Brenden's shoe size is a whopping 18, and he has to sit sideways at his school desk so his knees won't knock it over. His mom, Debbie Ezell, said her son has a team of doctors who watch over his still-growing body.

Ezell told ABC that her son's extreme height causes other medical issues, like fatty tumors, unusually large joints and even extra teeth. According to ABC, he had 12 extraneous teeth removed over the summer.

Brenden's dad, Willie Adams, told ABC that his son was a typical infant when he was born, weighing in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces. His height at birth? A pretty normal 19-and-a-half inches. Ezell told the network that it wasn't until Brenden's two-month check-up that the doctor noticed something different about her baby boy.

"They said, these measurements just aren't right, he's too long," Ezell told ABC. "And at four months, he had all of his teeth."

Adams and Ezell then got news that every parent fears -- the doctors didn't know what was causing Brenden's extreme growth.

Dr. Melissa Parisi, a geneticist at Children's Hospital in Seattle, Wash., has been treating the boy since he was just 4 years old.

"I still haven't seen anyone like Brenden," Parisi told ABC, adding that when she began seeing him, Brenden was already "the size of a typical 8-year-old boy."

So just why is Brenden so tall? An "unusual arrangement of his genetic material," Parisi said. According to ABC, Brenden has what is called an inversion of chromosome-12, and that affects all the cells in his body. The boy's 12th chromosomes don't match, and disrupted a gene that is critical to controlling growth.

Doctors believe his case is one-of-a-kind, requiring a one-of-a-kind treatment. According to ABC, Brenden's medical team decided to inject the boy with testosterone, in an effort to jump-start puberty. Puberty signals the body to stop growing.

So far, according to ABC, the treatments are slowing Brenden's growth, but there is still no predicting just how tall the teen will get. In the meantime, Brenden spends his time like any other teen would.

"I'm another person, just like everybody else," Brenden told CNN. He added that no, he doesn't play basketball -- he's had two knee replacement surgeries. Instead, he prefers to ride dirt bikes, camp and hang out with his buddies.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.