World's Tallest Teenager Is From Ellensburg

According to Guinness World Records, the World's Tallest Teenager is from Ellensburg. Brenden Adams, who was last reported to be 7'5" at age 15, already holds the "Tallest Teenager (Living)" record, despite having four more years as a teenager. Adams is a freshman at Ellensburg High School.

Adams received significant media coverage after receiving the distinction. Just over a year ago, Rivals.com article profiled Ellensburg's 7'4" middle school student. At the time, Adams was a 14–year–old 8th grader at Morgan Middle School in Ellensburg. He played on the school's football team as a wide receiver.

Adams received nationwide attention when he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show last year. 7'1" NBA basketball player Shaquille O'Neal appeared on the show and Adams towered over him, although O'Neal outweighed Adams by more than 100 pounds. Video from the show can be seen here. Adams was also profiled in an ABC News story. The story described how Adams' had to position himself to fit into his mother's SUV.

According to doctors, Adams' height is due to a 12th chromosome that broke in half and flipped over and reattached. This has resulted in a rapid gain in height. Adams was born on September 20, 1995 a normal height and weight at Kittitas Valley Hospital. By 5 months, he had gained 14 pounds and all his teeth had come in. By five years of age, he was 4'5" tall, which is the slightly above the average height of an 11 year–old boy. By 11, he was 6'8" tall.

Unfortunately, Adams' condition comes with serious health problems. He has unusual blood clots and enlarged joints. He already suffers from arthritis. His condition makes it difficult for him to run. Adams has a team of doctors and needs regular medical visits. However, Adams' doctors cleared him to play football last year, and his mom allowed him to play. Adams enjoyed playing as it allowed him to feel like a normal teenager. The year before that Adams was a football team manager.

The tallest NBA basketball player in history was Manute Bol at 7'7". The tallest NFL football player in the modern era was Morris Stroud, who was 6'10". However, Adams' condition will likely prevent him from playing professional sports.

The tallest player presently living is 8'1" Sultan Kosen of Turkey. Based on his recent growth, it does not appear Adams will reach that height. Adams' doctors prescribed him testosterone the past several years for his condition. This has apparently been successful in slowing his growth as Adams has gained only about two inches in height the past two years.

Adams' story was also profiled on September 22, 2008 in the Seattle Times, as a 7'3" 13–year old. Because of his conditions, Adams' bones, organs, and teeth have grown at a phenomenal pace. Two years ago, he had to have 12 molars removed. Last year, Adams had his spleen removed and it was the size of a football, larger than some newborn babies.

Because of all the medical care and special needs Adams has (two years ago his family moved into a house with 8 foot doorways), a community fund was established. The fund helps Adams' family to buy furniture, clothing, and other necessities. Adams' hometown of Ellensburg has already donated or raised more than $20,000 to help him buy basic needs such as a large bed and desk. The local fire department also donated a lift chair.

According to the SeattleTimes.com story, checks for donations for Adams' personal and medical needs could be made out to "For Benefit of Brenden Adams" and deposited at any Sterling Savings Bank. Deposits could also be sent directly to Sterling Savings Bank Ellensburg branch located at 118 W. 5th Ave., Ellensburg WA 98926. The account number is 59997777875. However, because this story is sixteen months old, those wishing to donate should first inquire at their local Sterling Savings Bank.