Tanya Angus, a young woman who served as inspiration to her fellow gigantism sufferers, died today at the age of 34.
Considered to have endured one of the world’s worst cases of gigantism, Tanya Angus publicly shared her struggles with acromegaly through her website, reaching out and inspiring others afflicted with the disorder. The website announced her passing with the following message:
“It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing on of our beloved Tanya Angus at 12.25 am January 14, 2013, due to her heart and TIA. RIP dear one.”
Acromegaly, commonly associated with gigantism, is a syndrome that occurs when the anterior pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone. The disorder can result in severe disfigurement, complicating conditions, and premature death. Considered to be rare, the disorder currently affects approximately 20,000 individuals domestically.
An article by ABC News writes that Tanya Angus lost her battle with the disorder after suffering a transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke. At the time of her death she stood over seven feet tall and weighed 400 pounds. Before the onset of acromegaly 12 years ago, the young woman’s height was measured at slightly under six feet and her weight was a mere 135 pounds.
Tanya’s public battle with her growth inspired an advocacy organization called the Acromegaly Community. Wayne Brown, the group’s founder, spoke of the impact Tanya had on fellow sufferers:
“Her tremendous love of our community could only be matched by her generosity of spirit. No matter how tired or sick she was, you could always count on Tanya for a smile and a hug that was guaranteed to raise your spirits. Tanya’s infectious laugh brightened up a room, simply by her presence. She always had time to say hi to one more person, even when she was too tired to do so. She was a hero to people around the world, simply because of her bravery and class, as she faced so many unknowns.”
The Daily Mail reports that Tanya Angus spent 12 years searching for a cure to her gigantism disorder. Unfortunatley, the tumor which spurred the onset of acromegaly was located in an inoperable area of her body. She eventually became wheelchair-bound as the massive growth spurts continued to put strain upon her body and organs.
Tanya found comfort and support from sharing her story with the readers of her website. Her openness with others was an inspiration that helped others seek necessary treatment, possibly saving lives. Tanya spoke last year about her struggle with the disorder:
“Sometimes I feel really down about it but to me the most important thing is that I have to tell people about it. I read emails that people send in saying:’You’re my inspiration,’ or, ‘You are so strong.’ If I am helping other people, I feel I can do anything.”
You can follow Tanya Angus’ journey through the struggles of gigantism on her official website.