From the age of 10, Elisane Silva started to notice she was much taller than her classmates, and even her family.
At that stage she was already 5ft 9 but she kept growing, and now the 26-year-old stands at 6ft 8in.
Her mother Ana Maria Ramos is just 5ft 4in and father Luiz Jorge is 5ft 7in so they didn’t think it was down to genetics.
They later discovered her stature is down to a benign tumour on her pituitary gland, which has caused an overproduction of growth hormone and a condition called giantism.
Elisane, from Salinopolis, Brazil, had no idea about the tumour until 2010 when she had tests on live TV, as her family was unable to pay for them.
Known unofficially as ‘Brazil’s tallest woman’, she married Francinaldo Da Silva Carvalho, 31, in 2015 and he stands at just 5ft 4in – 1ft 4in shorter than her
‘Since I was ten-years-old, I always noticed that there wasn’t something quite right as I was the only one in my family and class that stood at a staggering five-foot-nine-inches,’ Elisane said.
‘My mother is only five-foot-four-inches and my father is just five-foot-seven-inches, so it was a shock to our entire family when I was the tallest member at so young.
‘I began experiencing intense pain in my bones and a lot of pressure build up in my head which I believe was due to the excessive rate I was growing, so we decided to visit a medical professional.
‘They suggested performing a few routine tests to get to the bottom of why I was so tall, but as my family were unable to pay for the medical costs, this wasn’t an option.
‘However, a national television network approached my family after hearing my story and in 2010, we flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I appeared on national television and had all my tests done for free on behalf of the network.
‘Although this was embarrassing, I was just glad to finally have an answer and to stop the pain that I was going through as a result of my height.
‘As I received the results, medics found that I had a benign tumour growing on my pituitary gland which had caused an overproduction in my growth hormone and was the reason for my condition.’
Growing up wasn’t easy for Elisane and she was often bullied, with people calling her names like ‘giraffe’, ‘lamppost’ and ‘giant’.
The comments impacted her mental health significantly and she eventually left school completely.
‘I remember locking myself up at home as I felt so sick with the hurtful comments and words people were constantly saying to me,’ said Elisane.
‘I decided to give up and it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, as I wanted to continue studying but I knew that I wouldn’t last any longer in that environment.
‘At the time, I was seventeen-years-old, so my parents didn’t have much to say on the matter and I was really lost about where to go next in life.’