When a Small Man Turns Tallest
Ukrainian Leonid Stadnyk, who was nicknamed “titch” by his school mates because he was tiny, has officially been declared as the world's tallest man measuring 8 feet and 5 inches.
He has shaken the hands of world leaders like Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko; yet, he did not seek this sort of fame and in fact, shunned it as long as he could.
It is an astonishing story, how from being so tiny, Leonid turned to be the world record holder as the tallest person.
His condition is known as acromegalic gigantism. This was initiated by his pituitary gland, after he had a surgery on a benign brain tumor at the age of 14. Surprisingly, after causing 20 years of extraordinary growth, the tumor finally died off naturally.
Although Stadnyk’s story is fascinating, I am writing this article for an entirely different reason.
In this world, people go to extremes for 15-minutes-of-fame; Leonid on the other hand went to the other side, deliberately avoiding fame.
He repeatedly turned down requests for being measured officially for Guinness Book of Records. He has no desire for fame. He was finally persuaded by the growth expert of London Clinic Centre for Endocrinology, Michael Besser to be measured officially for the purpose of science.
Professor Bessor said, "He doesn't want to be famous. He lives like a hermit and he says he has done nothing to court fame and wants nothing to do with the Guinness Book of Records."
I am a short person, but Leonid, you truly made me feel like a dwarf with your sense of humility.