Sunday, April 25, 2004
Tiny village possibly holds the world's tallest man "At age 33, Leonid Stadnik wishes he would stop growing.

He's already 8 feet, 4 inches.

Recent measurements show that Stadnik is already 7 inches taller than Radhouane Charbib of Tunisia, listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest living man. He's also gaining on the 8-11 Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in history.

Yet for Stadnik, the prospect of becoming a record-holder would be little comfort.

'My two-year-old suit's sleeves and pants are now 30 centimeters (12 inches) shorter than I need,' said Stadnik. 'My height is God's punishment. My life has no sense.'

Stadnik's height keeps him confined to this tiny village 130 miles west of the capital, Kiev.

'Taking a public bus for me is the same as getting into a car's trunk for a normal person,' he said.

Stadnik's unusual growth began after a brain operation at age 14, which is believed to have stimulated his pituitary gland. Since then, life just keeps getter harder.

Although he once was able to work as a veterinarian at a cattle farm, he had to quit three years ago after his feet were frostbitten because he wasn't able to afford proper shoes for his 17-inch feet."

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