Turning into a Giant

2009 ,    »  -   7 Comments
Ratings: 7.89/10 from 37 users.

Turning into a Giant presents a "day-in-the-life" perspective of a handful of patients living with Acromegalic Gigantism, or Acromegaly, a condition which results from a tumor on the pituitary gland and causes an extreme surge in growth hormone.

We meet Igor, a patient diagnosed at six months of age who towered over his parents by age seven. In a childhood photograph shared with the filmmakers, Igor's mother looks to be a doll in proportion to him. Due to a lack of treatment options in his native Ukraine, Igor and his mother moved to the States in the hopes of finding better health care for his condition. Igor invites the audience into his home, which was specially designed to accommodate his nearly eight foot tall frame.

Tanya (deceased on January 14, 2013), a young woman from Nevada, was diagnosed with Acromegaly at the age of 22, causing her to experience a drastic change in her physical appearance. Her weight increased, her face contorted, her hands and feet continuously grow, and she now relies on a wheelchair for transportation. She shares her experience as someone who once blended in with other women her age but now garners unwelcome stares and comments from strangers. Those with Acromegaly are at a higher risk of heart problems and early death, meaning Tanya must take a daily cocktail of pills plus daily and monthly injections to manage chronic pain and other complications.

Mary White, a more recently diagnosed patient, explains the differences in the condition when it sets in after puberty. Whereas Igor and Tanya were diagnosed prior to puberty, causing drastic increases in height, Mary's diagnosis came post-puberty, causing an expansion of width. Her teeth and eyes moved farther apart, her nose broadened, and her tongue became thicker. Speaking to Mary two months post-diagnosis and two days prior to surgery to remove the gigantism-causing tumor, the filmmakers are granted access to the operating room when the growth is removed.

Turning into a Giant is an intimate portrait of these three patients, shedding light on an uncommon condition that carries great consequences for those who have it while offering insight into some of the treatment options that are currently available.

More great documentaries

7 Comments / User Reviews

    Loretta Chardin
  1. Loretta Chardin

    We never know what the future may bring. It may bring terrible illness, such as these people have. We have no control over these things. What we do have control over is how we respond to life. Their courage is over-the-top inspiring. They are blessed to have family who love them. Amazing surgeons, also. How so many of us "sweat the small stuff" and don't count our blessings!

  2. Cheryl
  3. Cheryl

    What a cruel interviewer. "Do you want to have children?" This documentary is all for the wow factor. Shame on you.

  4. KilyaGod
  5. KilyaGod

    Well this let me down...................

  6. Jane
  7. Jane

    It just amazes me how these people deal with the disease. I'd imagine myself to be so angry about it. Why me? Why must I, of all people, be plagued with this disease? But none of these people seemed to have that kind of attitude. I think when something major and catastrophic happens to you, you're forced to be strong and positive. And maybe that's something beautiful.

  8. Debra sparks
  9. Debra sparks

    Isn't he the one who plays the giant on Game of thrones now ?

  10. Phillip jordan
  11. Phillip jordan

    to the Family of Tanya Agnus :

    I am sorry for your Loss, I watched the documentary with great interest, and the one overwhelming thought I had for her struggle with this disorder, was that Tanya was a fighter, and champion of the human spirit.

    She chose to share her story, I want to thank Tanya & her entire family for doing so, to educate & invoke real understanding, so that others in Tanya's situation won't experience the same unkind words & Stares, that would be the best thing that could come from Tanya's story & her legacy, if people would learn to be good to each other, and take the time to understand others & their situations .

    RIP Tanya

  12. Lam Haselden
  13. Lam Haselden

    People suffer from many kinds of disease. With giantism, for sure the patients have a bit difficulty to cope with daily life. Luckily, the patients in this video have excellent supports from family and society. Best wishes for them!

Leave a comment / review: