1. Small Town Beginnings
3. Kindergarten Concerns
While most parents feel that their children grow up in the blink of an eye, Broc Brown’s mother was baffled by her son’s rapid growth. By kindergarten, the young boy was already towering over his fellow kindergarteners at 5-foot 2-inches tall. Taking into consideration that the average height of five-year-old boys in America is a little under four feet, Broc Brown was way above his peers on the growth chart, but his family could not have guessed why.
4. Same Size as his Mother
5. A Mother’s Love
Apart from the usual hobbies that young children like to take part in, Broc Brown’s mother noticed that it was getting more difficult to perform other day-to-day aspects of caring for her young son due to his rapid growth. “When you have a five-year-old who has hurt themselves and they come running at you, you pick them up,” added Darci. “I would carry him around when he was half the size of me so I have a lot of back problems.”
6. Time to Call the Doctor
7. A Rare Diagnosis
At the tender age of five, Broc Brown received a rare diagnosis that affects about one in every 15,000 people. After a tense wait, doctors finally determined that he had a hereditary condition called Sotos Syndrome, which is also referred to as “cerebral gigantism.” “There’s nothing that can stop him from growing – I don’t know if he will ever stop,” his mother Darci has asserted. While there was now an explanation for Brown’s condition, his family was still worried as it wasn’t initially clear what the future would hold in store for him.
8. A Gloomy Prognosis
9. What is Sotos Syndrome, Exactly?
People with the rare genetic disorder Sotos syndrome are prone to excessive physical growth, particularly in the early years of life until the teenage years. Those with Sotos typically grow taller and faster than their siblings and peers. While there are several other behavioral and medical issues associated with cerebral gigantism, individuals affected by the condition generally measure in the average height range by adulthood. Broc Brown, however, stood out even among those with Sotos.
10. Treading the Teen Years
11. Another Hurdle
While people who are born with Sotos syndrome are notedly taller than average, medical experts noted that Broc Brown was larger than most people with the genetic disorder. That pronouncement caused doctors and his family to become increasingly concerned about his health. Keeping in mind early estimates that Brown wouldn’t make it to adulthood, he continued growing at a steadily speedy pace well into his early teen years. When Brown was 14, his hopeful family again received distressing news. Now, doctors were saying it was possible that he wouldn’t make it past age 15.
12. Standing Tall in the Face of Adversity
13. Comfort Tweaks
In light of his circumstances, Broc Brown and his family have taken steps to try to make life more comfortable. Seeing that it wasn’t clear whether he’d ever stop growing, Brown employed the help of some special features to fit his frame. The ever-growing young man has a custom-made eight-foot bed and a special chair that comes at a hefty $1,000. His tailor-made bedroom furnishing particularly comes in handy when he sleeps up to 16 hours a day during growth spurts. In spite of his trying circumstances, Brown only had one simple wish as a teen.
14. ‘A Heart As Big As His Body’
15. Refusing to Stay Sedentary
Due to his condition, everyday activities can be a challenge for Broc. Standing for long times, walking through doors and riding in cars can prove to be difficult talks. Sitting in restaurant booths, going to movies and fitting into small spaces are also not easy feats. Luckily, Broc has been able to do some traveling as of late. And although he never foresaw it coming, things would start to look up for Broc when he was part of an incredible experience that would make a huge impact on his young life.
16. Breaking Records
17. ‘Tallest Teens’
Despite the constant challenges, things took a particularly good turn when he participated in a TLC documentary called “Tallest Teens” in 2016. As the name indicates, the show highlighted the lives of a handful of American youth who top the growth chart. During that encounter, Broc Brown was finally able to do something he’d never done before: meet and interact with other people with Sotos syndrome. His mother explained that the experience was particularly positive for her son and allowed him to understand that he wasn’t alone. Still, there was another eye-opening event to come.
18. More Than Just the Tallest Teen
19. A Brave Appearance
Broc Brown’s encounter with television didn’t end with the TLC program. Also in 2016, the brave teen was featured on a special anti-bullying episode of The Maury Show. Broc and his mother, Darci, shared their story and delivered an encouraging message about putting a halt to bullying. After appearing on the show, the Maury team bestowed Broc with some thought-felt presents, including a new wheelchair and a surprising 10-year supply of Broc’s favorite fish sticks made by Gorton’s. The family was very grateful for the generous gesture, but they couldn’t have anticipated what else was in store for them after the appearance.
20. Incredible Aftermath
21. A Financial Hurdle
While keeping up with the clothing needs of growing children is something most families face, Broc Brown’s ever-increasing stature meant that a sizeable budget was needed to keep him clothed and comfortable. Furthermore, due to his size, Broc was regularly in need of specially-designed apparel. In addition to the custom-made furniture that Broc needed for his bedroom, he also needed basic clothing staples. However, at 7-foot 8-inches and potentially getting taller, everyday items like shoes, shirts and shocks can be hard to find.
22. A Considerate Community
23. An Overwhelming Outpouring
Although they weren’t expecting the extent of the compassionate outpouring of thoughtful donations and supportive social media outreach, Broc Brown and his family were truly touched. Someone even donated tickets to a Detroit Pistons basketball and Broc had a great time meeting some of the players. All of the public exposure produced an incredible response that stunned Broc and family, but unfortunately, the family still faced somewhat of a struggle. According to his mom, the funds “didn’t last long, we had a lot of outfits but within a year he was out of them and it was time to do it all again.”
24. A Grateful Guy
25. A Revolutionary Technology
In addition to the help of fundraisers, a revolutionary new technology has finally presented a relatively affordable footwear option for Broc. The California-based company Feetz presented its services that can use 3-D printing to make shoes at about half the price, or less, than regular custom fits. When Broc received his first pair of the custom kicks, he was justifiably ecstatic. “Heck, I don’t like them. I love them. Thank you,” he exclaimed. While such developments are surely uplifting, there was a medical update yet to come that would completely catch Broc and family off guard.
26. Another First
27. Surprising News from a Specialist
Although doctors had initially estimated that Broc Brown would have a short life, Dr. Schaefer gave him some of the best news of his life. Already having proving doctors wrong about his life expectancy, Broc’s prognosis was revisited by Dr. Schaefer who determined that he was out of life-threatening danger. “Broc is easily the tallest man I have ever seen,” said Dr. Schaefer “Unfortunately, he will always have to deal with some form of pain, but I believe that he will now have a regular lifespan.” Now expected to live for many decades to come, Broc had a heart-melting response.
28. The Best Thing
29. Looking to the Future
If Broc keeps growing at his average rate so-far of six inches a year, by the age of 21, he is expected to surpass the height of the world’s current tallest man – Turkey’s Sultan Kosen, who measures in at a towering 8-feet 2-inches. Despite his pain and difficult childhood, Brown has amazed everyone with his triumphant achievements, but he’s not stopping there. Not allowing himself to be perturbed by his condition, the determined young man says he already has future aspiration in mind.