As a teenager growing up in Las Vegas, Tanya Angus strutted along fashion runways. She was 5 feet 8 inches tall. But at the time of her death Monday, the 34-year-old Angus stood 7 feet 2 inches and weighed about 400 pounds. She was a victim of a rare disorder called acromegaly that wouldn't let her stop growing. Her condition was the result of the release of too much growth hormone caused by a non-cancerous tumor on her pituitary gland, and the disorder affected just about everything for Angus.
She couldn't pull even the largest of shirts over her head, because she couldn't fit through the collar. She needed specially made shoes, and jewelers stretched her rings to size 20. Her mother said some people judged Angus, believing she used a wheelchair because she lacked the discipline to keep her weight down. What they didn't know is that she ate one meal a day, and her medications caused her face to swell. Angus eventually became an advocate for those with the disease. It appears she died after catching a cold and developing a tear in her heart. (Read more acromegaly stories.)