World's tallest woman at over 7ft says 'being different is not as bad as you think'

By Chiara Fiorillo

The official world's tallest woman has said "being different is not as bad as you think".

Rumeysa Gelgi was born with Weaver Syndrome, a rare genetic disease that, among other things, causes rapid growth.

The 24-year-old stands at 7ft 0.7in (215.16cm) and this week has been confirmed as the world's tallest living female by Guinness World Records.

As she stood up with the help of her walking frame, the woman from Turkey said: "Being different is not as bad as you think. It can bring you unexpected success."

This is her second world record, after being confirmed as the tallest living female teenager in 2014, at the age of 18.

She was been named the tallest woman alive by Guinness World Records (REUTERS)

Craig Glenday, editor in chief at Guinness World Records, said: "It's an honour to welcome Rumeysa back into the record books.

"Her indomitable spirit and pride at standing out from the crowd is an inspiration.

"The category of tallest living woman is not one that changes hands very often, so I'm excited to share this news with the world."

Ms Gelgi, who usually depends on a wheelchair or a frame to move around, said she hopes to use her title to raise awareness about rare genetic disorders such as Weaver Syndrome.

She said she hopes to inspire others to accept themselves (REUTERS)

She explained: "I personally think that differences and other features which seem like a disadvantage can be turned to advantages if you want it and make the effort for it. That is exactly what I did."

The tallest man in the world, Sultan Kosen who was measured at 2 metres 51cm (8ft 2.8in) in 2018, is also from Turkey.

Ms Gelgi said she hopes to meet him in person one day.

The tallest woman to have lived was Zeng Jinlian, from China, who was measured at 8ft 1in (246.3cm) before her death in 1982.

Weaver Syndrome usually starts before birth and is sometimes accompanied by increased muscle tone, exaggerated reflexes, specific physical characteristics or foot deformities, explains the National Organization for Rare Disorders.

Individuals with the syndrome may have extremely wide-set eyes and unusually large ears.

The exact cause of Weaver Syndrome is unknown, but some researchers believe it can be inherited.

In Ms Gelgi's case, however, none of her parents or older siblings have the syndrome.

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