By Danny Baggott @dan_baggie
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Videographer / director: Eden Sabolboro
Producer: Danny Baggott, James Thorne
Editor: James Thorne
Formerly crowned the ‘world’s tallest teen’, Broc Brown spends every Saturday working at the Jackson YMCA sporting centre in Michigan.
Broc, now 22, was born with Sotos syndrome, known as cerebral gigantism, and his mother was told he would not outlive his teen years.
His growth has somewhat slowed down recently, but he’s managed to gain another inch in the last three years, much to the bemusement of doctors around the world.
With size 28-inch feet, and measuring 5’2” while still in Kindergarten, Broc has always needed custom-made clothing – and has made use of a specialised 8ft bed and chair that were given to him by the community.
Back in 2016, Broc told Barcroft TV: “I dream of working in a sporting goods store when I’m older, hopefully I can make that happen.”
And just three years on, Broc has certainly made that dream a reality.
He said: “This job means so much to me, it’s like the most important thing I have.
“I started as a member at the YMCA and, one day, they offered me a job there. It was really nice of them and I couldn’t believe it.
“I said to myself, you can do this, you can go out there and do this job.
“I’m really happy I managed to get it.”
Broc helps out with checking the children in for the day and sending them to the right sporting classes.
And his supervisor, Megan Hunt, couldn’t be more pleased with the work he is doing.
She said: “I have been working with Broc for more than two months now.
“At first, I thought he was shy and quiet – but that’s definitely not the case. He is funny and is really great to work with.
“He’s very dependable and it’s nice to have a familiar face around for the kids.
“Since he started here, he’s definitely become famous. People are always really happy to see him.
“We’re going to look at adding more responsibilities to Broc’s job too, in the near future.”
Before becoming too old for the 18-and-below classification, Broc was the tallest teenager in the world and was growing at a rate of six inches a year.
He received his official diagnosis for Sotos syndrome when he was just five years old and was already towering above everyone in his school classes.
Despite proving doctors wrong throughout his childhood, Broc is now facing fresh medical challenges; recently being diagnosed with diabetes and struggling with movement and walking long distances due to his height.
Broc was only born with one kidney – another side effect of his condition – and so he has had to considerably change his diet in order to monitor his levels of insulin.
But despite the medical hardships Broc is faced with, he is still managing to thrive.
And that’s largely down to his aunty, Stacy Snyder, who has played a pivotal role in Broc’s life and acts as his biggest support system.
Stacy, 47, said: “Broc is a great young man. Everybody is amazed when they see Broc out and about due to his stature and that he weighs over 500lbs!
“We have a very close family and we’re all so proud of him for landing this job and going out there and achieving his dream.
“It’s very important for Broc to have a job, because he has always had a hard time in his education and it keeps him active.
“He has some special needs that come with the condition, affecting his physical and mental state, so he hasn’t always been able to hang around with a lot of people.
“So this job just gives him a sense of being an adult and having some responsibility.
“I’m probably one of the people that he listens to really well, even though I’m two and a half feet shorter than him.
“Broc is a survivor. In his 22 years, he has overcome a lot of challenges.
“But I always think it comes back to his wonderful personality. He’s a very forgiving soul. He’s a very kind soul.
“I think he’ll continue to do well and obviously his health is of the most importance.”
Broc has amassed a following online, with more than 18,000 people keeping up to date with his journey on his Facebook support page: https://www.facebook.com/brocdbrown/
He is now looking forward to the future; getting himself on the dating scene and continuing to progress in his career.
Broc said: “A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘Oh you’re that tall guy from TV’ and I’m like, ‘Yep, that’s me’. People recognise me in my job too.
“I’m so pleased to have my job now – it keeps me busy and I’m not so bored.
“My family do really good by me, to help me. I’m doing good right now.
“For my future, I want to start making more cash. I want to own my own business for sure.”