August 20, 2008

My Seven Foot Tall Son

I thought that this was interesting. BTW, I picked the title because I thought that it was cool, I am not related.

Here are some excerpts:

Ellensburg, Wash., is home to a truly unique young man: 12-year-old Brenden Adams, who is more than seven feet tall and, incredibly, still growing.....

....Amazingly, his dad, Willie Adams, said there was no hint of any of this when Brenden was born at 7 pounds, 3 ounces and 19 1/2 inches in length. His mom says they first started to notice something was different at his 2 month check-up. "They said, these measurements just aren't right. He's too long," Ezell said. "And at four months, he had all of his teeth."

Then mom and dad got the news that any parent would dread. Doctors and medical experts told them they had no idea what was causing the problem with their child. "I still haven't seen anyone like Brenden," says Dr. Melissa Parisi, his geneticist at Children's Hospital in Seattle. Parisi has been treating Brenden since he was four years old, when, she said, "he was the size of a typical 8-year-old boy."

...For years, doctors continued to search for the source and an answer to Brenden's unstoppable growth. He went through multiple tests and X-rays as medical experts tried to determine what was going on inside Brenden's body.

Then, finally, a breakthrough -- when Brenden was eight years old and already the size of an adult.

"I have to say that the hematologists and oncologists here actually helped us figure it out," admits Parisi. "He has a very unusual rearrangement of his genetic material. It's what's called an inversion of chromosome-12 and it affects every single cell in his body."

Chromosomes, you may remember, come in pairs. But in Brenden's case, his 12th chromosomes don't match. Somehow -- experts still don't know why -- the middle of one of them broke off, flipped around and re-attached, disrupting a critical gene that controls growth. And that's what experts believe is causing Brenden's excessive growth and other symptoms and what makes his case the only one of its kind.

"This gene is functioning despite the regulation that it shouldn't be," said Dr. Gad Kletter, Brenden's endocrinologist at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. "It's over-functioning. He was predicted to be over eight foot tall."

2 comments:

One Wink at a Time said...

I don't watch TV, but the hubby was watching this last night and called me in to see. I was heartbroken for this kid. Couldn't fall asleep, later, thinking of what his life and his family's must be like. I wanted to hug all of them.

(can I leave now or are you going to pop another post out before I'm done reading? lol)

Jack said...

Wink,

I can pop them out in bunches- no promises that you won't come back and find six more. ;)