What If?...
May 24, 2010

In 2005 I met Karen (Strutynski) and her husband Allen at my job (at that time) as a Leasing Agent for the apartments where I also lived. The Strutynski’s were leasing an apartment for Karen’s daughter Tanya, and from that first meeting I learned that Tanya had Acromegaly…a term which I was unfamiliar with but I knew the term Gigantism. When Tanya came in to sign leasing papers, I of course noted her size immediately. But from the moment we began talking, Tanya’s size vanished from my mind as her sparkling personality, smile and laugh grabbed my heart. I had no true understanding of Acromegaly at that time and it didn’t even cross my mind that Tanya was still growing and faced a multitude of new health issues and pain. Tanya moved into a building near mine and I assured Karen and Allen that I would keep an eye out for Tanya, which I hoped would give them some peace of mind. I learned after checking in on Tanya now and again that she was suffering some agonizing and excruciating migraines…and her recent back surgery was of course, another source of pain. A month later I quit my job and moved away. After that, Karen and I emailed now and then but by the time I moved to another state in 2007 we’d lost touch.

In May of 2010 I was channel surfing before bed and saw what I immediately recognized as Tanya’s face on TV! I turned up the volume and caught the last 20 minutes of TLC’s (The Learning Channel) “Help! I’m Turning Into a Giant”. I was stunned, as the Tanya I knew was now wearing hearing aids and slurring her words a bit. I learned in that last 20 minutes of programming that Tanya had suffered a stroke as well as numerable other health issues including more brain and back surgeries. And when I learned from that airing that Tanya was the only known Acromegaly patient in the World who was not able to be treated successfully by medicines or surgeries (due to the location of her main and satellite tumors), my heart sank. I had to do something to help.

I contacted Karen the following day and reminded her of who I was. I told her that I wanted to help by building and maintaining a website for Tanya. Karen was very thankful and we proceeded. I asked a lot of questions about Tanya and learned about all the pain and surgeries that the last 5 years had brought on. I was stunned to find out that Tanya's meds come to $40,000.00 a month! I wanted the website to be a safe place for Tanya to tell her story as well as appealing to her likes…I found out that Tanya’s likes “Bling” (jewelry) and pretty things, as do most women. So was born the website’s look of Pink Flowers, Gold Ribbon, White Satin and Pearly Tiara’s (Tiara’s? Yes! Princess is Tanya’s nickname).

In my past weeks of researching Acromegaly, I’ve come across many a wonderful Acromegalic sharing their blogs on the Internet. I’ve also learned that one in five persons will develop or harbor a pituitary tumor…that’s right, 1in 5!

So, what if you woke up one morning and noticed that the look of your face or hands or feet was changing? What if day after day these changes became more pronounced? What if you learned that you had a pituitary tumor that was impossible to completely remove? Most people will never have to know the answers to those questions, but Tanya Angus does. And after all the emotional and physical pain that Tanya endures on a regular basis she still finds a way to be “Tanya the Acromegaly Activist”…bringing her story to the media in hopes of preventing her diagnosis from becoming someone else’s diagnosis.

In closing, I ask that you take some time and learn about Acromegaly and Pituitary Disorders and share our website and the links contained in it with your family and friends. These conditions can strike anyone, at any age! We need you to help Tanya Angus in helping others.

Tina (for Tanya)
Originally Posted by Tina Valle at 5/25/2010 03:53:00 PM 

Please visit the website for more information: www.TanyaAngus.com