Rumeysa Gelgi doesn’t fit into a normal-sized car.
Finding clothes to fit is impossible and bumping her head on doorways and even ceilings is far from uncommon.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Rumeysa Gelgi’s life as the tallest woman in the world.
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That’s because at 2.15 metres tall – or 7 foot 0.7 inches on the old scale – the Turkish-born 26-year-old is the tallest woman in the world.
And she holds the Guinness World Record to prove it.
“It was very important for my height to be recognised as a record,” she tells 7Life.
“I was born with a serious condition and people always saw it as a disadvantage.
“But now I want to show how you can take something negative and use it to your advantage.”
Gelgi was diagnosed with the rare Weaver Syndrome when she was four months old.
The genetic condition – which affects only around 150 people worldwide – causes bone overgrowth.
“The doctors didn’t know how tall I would grow,” Gelgi says.
“I needed medication to put me through puberty as early as possible so I reached my final height quickly.
“Without it, I could have been a lot taller.”
A raft of other health issues, including scoliosis and a heart defect, meant Gelgi was home schooled around her many hospital stays.
“It was not an easy journey,” she says.
“I didn’t have any friends because I was so different to children my age but I made it.
“My parents were the biggest support and I had amazing teachers.”
She learnt that, with a few adjustments, she could do everything anyone else could.
Car travel was impossible but she could get around in a van.
Dresses could work for her as pretty tops.
And beds, chairs and a desk could be specially made to work for her height.
But, until last year, her dream to travel was one area that seemed forever out of reach.
“I have rods and screws in my spine so I can’t sit upright for longer than two or three hours,” she says.
“I’m over 7 foot so it’s a lot of pressure on my spine. I always wanted to go to America, to work as a web developer in Silicon Valley, but California is a 14-hour flight.”
Even a flat-bed business-class seat was out of the question because she would be too long for one.
But in 2022, her dream became a reality when Turkish Air agreed to book out six plane seats and allow her to lie across them on a special stretcher.
“It was the first time it had been done for a commercial reason,” Gelgi says.
“Everyone was so kind. I did get some looks but other passengers came over to check I was ok and I really enjoyed my flight.”
She adds: “I understand people are curious about me but as long as the stares aren’t too long it’s ok.”
In fact, helping people understand her condition is one of the reasons Gelgi is keen to be in the public eye.
“I want to educate people about Weaver Syndrome,” she says.
“It’s so rare many doctors don’t know about it.
“I also want to show people that you shouldn’t judge others by how they look.
“I believe a negative thing can be turned into a positive one.”
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