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Rumeysa Gelgi has held the record for the "world's tallest living woman" since 2021. The 25-year-old, who stands just over seven feet tall, frequently travels to share her story. But never on an airplane! She is too tall to fit in a standard airplane seat! Gelgi also suffers from a spinal condition and cannot sit for long periods of time. But thanks to Turkish Airlines, she has finally experienced the magic of soaring high above the clouds.
The historic 13-hour journey from Istanbul, Turkey, to San Francisco, California, occurred in September 2022. Turkish Airlines removed six economy seats to fit Gelgi's custom stretcher. In the photos posted on Instagram, Gelgi is seen chatting with the airline staff and enjoying a delicious chocolate cake.
"This was my first plane ride," she said. "But it certainly won't be my last."
The Turkish resident's first brush with fame came in 2014 when she was named the "world's tallest living teenager." Gelgi broke the record for the "world's tallest living woman" in October 2021. She collected three more records in February 2022. They include the "largest hands on a female person," the "longest finger on a female person," and the "longest back on a female person."
Gelgi's remarkable physique is caused by a rare genetic disorder called Weaver syndrome. People with the condition are usually very tall and have unique facial features. Other symptoms include limited mobility of the joints (such as elbows and ankles). They are also prone to falling. Due to her condition, Gelgi primarily relies on a wheelchair to get around.
Gelgi often receives hurtful comments about her unusual appearance. But the 24-year-old has learned to be proud of her differences. She says, "Every disadvantage can be turned into an advantage for yourself so accept yourself for who you are, be aware of your potential and do your best."
Resources: CNN.com, Guinness World Records, Traveller.com.au, Newsweek.com