'I like being different': at more than 2 m, Rumeysa is the world's tallest woman

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Rumeysa Gelgi is 2,15m tall and was recently named the tallest woman alive. (PHOTO: Instagram)
Rumeysa Gelgi is 2,15m tall and was recently named the tallest woman alive. (PHOTO: Instagram)

This woman is reaching new heights in the record books.

Rumeysa Gelgi from Turkey is 2,15 metres tall and was recently named the tallest woman alive.

“Her indomitable spirit and pride at standing out from the crowd is an inspiration,” says Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records.

“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.”

It’s something Rumeysa and her family are ecstatic about as well.  

“My family and the people around me are very supportive,” Rumeysa says. “They’re so excited and so happy.”

Rumeysa
Rumeysa relies on a wheelchair and walking frame to get around. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old’s tall stature is due to an extremely rare condition called Weaver syndrome, which causes rapid growth and usually starts before birth, according to the National Organisation for Rare Disorders. Rumeysa was also born with scoliosis (curvature of the spine).

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This isn’t the first time Rumeysa has appeared in the record books. In 2014, then 18 years old and 2,13m tall, she was named the world’s tallest living female teenager.

“It’s one of my biggest dreams to be awarded with this record,” she said at the time.

“Being a record-holder is a very amazing thing. I know that only the special people can make it and I know I’m one of them now.”

Rumeysa
Rumeysa's tall stature is due to an extremely rare condition called Weaver syndrome. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Since then, Rumeysa has been using her platform to raise awareness and educate people about the rare disease.

“Every disadvantage can be turned into an advantage for yourself, so accept yourself for who you are, be aware of your potential and do your best,” she says.

Because of her condition, she relies on a wheelchair to get around. When she does get up to walk a few steps, she uses a walking frame.

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Rumeysa faces bullying and “weird stares” occasionally but refuses to let these define her.

“I like being different from everyone else. It’s interesting and makes me feel special.

“It also provides me with easy access to high places and looking down at people from above isn’t a bad thing either,” she says.

Despite the hurdles she faces, Rumeysa tries to live life to the fullest. She enjoys going for a swim and having a delicious meal with her family.

The tallest living man is also from Turkey. Sultan Kösen (39) is 2,43m tall and also has the record for the largest hands, each measuring 28,5cm.

“I never imagined I would be in the book. I dreamt about it, but it was still a huge surprise,” he says of the record.

Sources: National Organisation for Rare Disorders, Guinness World Records, CNN, Huffington Post

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