Yao Defen, believed to be the world’s tallest woman, has begun treatment in a Shanghai hospital to rid her of a brain tumor at the root of her gigantism.
Yao, from a poor farming family in eastern China’s Anhui province, measures 2.36 meters (7.75 ft), Chinese doctors say. That is 5 cm (2 inches) more than Sandy Allen of the United States, who is currently listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest woman.
Yao suffers from a large tumor in the pituitary gland of her brain, which has stimulated her body to release excessive amounts of growth hormone and made her bones weak, doctors say.
Crew members from London-based Scream Films, which is working on a TV documentary about Yao for Discovery Channel UK, along with Yao’s doctors in Shanghai are trying to raise money for the operation, physiotherapy and general financial assistance. Please check out their website — yaodefenappeal.org — for more information and to donate via Paypal or bank transfer. All they are trying for is $5,000. Right now, they are $4,600 from that goal.
Their website has information that we didn’t see in the news report — critical information, at that. Speaking of the tumor that causes her abnormal growth spurts and which has caused her health to deteriorate, the website says:
But now six years later it has grown back and is pressing on her optic nerve. She could go blind in the next few months and die with in a year without complicated surgery.