Mandy Sellars from Lancashire, England, is a slim size 12 on top, with a tiny waist and toned arms.

But a rare condition has caused the 38-year-old’s bottom half to grow out of all proportion.

Mandy’s legs are nearly 2m wide or the equivalent of a dress size 34.

She can never wear skirts or dresses and has to have trousers made by her mum. She has lived with stares, sniggers and rude comments all her life after being born with the condition.

But Mandy is determined not to let any of this hold her back. She said: “When I go out people stare or laugh but it doesn’t bother me.

“It won’t stop me ­living my life. I’m proud to have this condition and hopefully I can help others feel more confident.”

Mandy was born with a rare form of Proteus Syndrome, believed to have affected “Elephant Man” Joseph Merrick. Her specific condition only affects ten other people worldwide.

Mandy, of Accrington, Lancashire, said: “My parents treated me like any other child. If I wanted to climb a tree, they let me do it. It was only in my ­teenage days that I really became aware I was ­different from other people.

“That was a difficult time. But you ­accept yourself more as you get older.”

At their biggest, Mandy’s legs weighed around 17 stone. She had part of her left leg amputated in January 2010 after ­contracting blood poisoning.

She said: “It was always so much heavier than my right and made it difficult to move but even after the ­amputation my leg continued to grow. At its widest it was a metre in circumference.”

Now specialist Dr Robert Semple and his team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in ­Cambridge believe they have isolated the gene that causes Mandy’s condition and have developed medication to halt the growth.

Since she has been taking the pills, her legs have shrunk by a stone and a half.

“I’m still trying to walk and hopefully that will ­happen,” she said.

Mandy lives a full and mostly ­independent life despite being confined to a wheelchair. “I look after myself, cook, wash and dress myself,” she said.

“Friends and family help out too and there’s always someone popping round. People come for ­dinner at weekends and I go to the cinema – we’re going clay ­pigeon shooting on my ­birthday.”

She added: “In my younger days I’d go out ­clubbing. I’m sure people stared, but we would just dance and have fun.

“There are certain things I find difficult but I don’t mind not being able to do the washing up! But I would love to go on a plane somewhere.” And she joked: “Maybe ­Simon Cowell could take me on his private jet!”

The condition has not affected her love life. “I’ve had two long-term boyfriends,” she said. “I’m single at the moment, but if I wanted to date, I can’t see that being a problem.

“I just want to be happy and healthy. I doubt there will ever be a cure for me but hopefully there will be for others like me in future.”

Read more at The Daily Star.

1 thought on “Mandy Sellars Vows to Walk Despite Rare Illness”

  1. Jiang Li says:

    People with Proteus syndrome could walk
    Story 1: ABC News published a piece of very famous news titled “Rare Condition Causes Woman to Have Gigantic Legs, Feet” on Sept. 9, 2008. The news reported that Mandy Sellars, 32, from Lancashire, suffers from Proteus syndrome with a pairs of the biggest legs worldwide. The girl’s legs kept slow growing and liposuction surgery did not work, but more tissue grew back than had been removed. Sellars’ condition has been covered in almost all television programs, and Internet webs in the world as a “part-time TV star”. In November 2009, she weighed about 133kg(38kg for her upper body and the remainder in her double legs and feet 95kg). In 2010, Her left leg had to be amputated above the knee. 22 months later, her leg began to grow at an accelerated rate and her limb began to balloon again. Almost straight away, the stump began increasing in circumference and her leg now has a circumference of 100cm. The doctors did not know how to do next. See to Fig below.

    Story 2: Dramatically, nearly at the same years, in June 2009, a 17 years old girl with a gigantic leg, named Guangzhi Lin, was found in a deep forest village at the southern part of China. The girl was also diagnosed as Proteus Syndrome, with a largest single leg (75kg) worldwide. She weighed about 111 kg: The girl could no longer move on her own and lied in bed all the days. She suffered a sever infection one day and almost was dyeing. According to the local folklore in her hometown, an unmarried girl could not die in her mother’s house, so, the girl herself strongly demanded to be sent to the graveyard in the forest and waiting to die. Exactly at this time, a journalist of Shenzhen television station in China found the sick girl, took her back home from graveyard, and planed to help her.
    The Ms. Guangzhi Lin’s story was broadcasted on many TV(including CCTV)and Web sites; therefore, the girl was widely known in China in a very short time and became a “part-time TV star” like Mandy Sellars. The journalist appealed some philanthropists to help aids, she was funded the trip to the Jinan Military Region General Hospital. Four months later, her left leg had to be amputated above the knee. After the surgery, her left thigh stump grew back at great speed and tumor tissue increased above 30kg with the left thigh circumference of 120cm in three months. The therapy had to be continued. A series of 14 staged operations was carried out successfully. The total weight of the excised tumor tissue reached 105kg(including new grown tissue). 26 months later, the girl recovered her walking with a prosthetic leg and was welcome by hundreds of villagers in her hometown when she arrived home. Since then, Ms Lin lives a new life. See to Fig below.

    Since 2000, my plastic surgery department suddenly received more than three hundreds of patients with huge legs, in whom about 46 patients were diagnosed as Proteus Syndrome according to Wiedemann’s or US’s diagnostic criteria. See to Fig below.

    We also searched the web sites and found more than 50 hundred suspected cases of Proteus Syndrome in China. See to the below picture.

    Story 3: Proteus Syndrome is so far the most complex congenital malformation discovered by human beings with multisystem involvement and great clinical variability. Proteus syndrome is named after the Greek God who could change his form in 1983. It is believed to be exceedingly rare, with less about 210 confirmed affected individuals reported in literature worldwide up to now. This suggests that prevalence is less than 1 case per 1,000,000 persons. So far, human beings knew a little about Proteus Syndrome and did not find any cure. This disease probably results from somatic mosaicism for a dominant lethal gene. In 2013, more recent diagnoses have focused on a PIK3CA gene mutation.
    Proteus Syndrome is still a mysterious disease, belonging to the scope of the overgrowth syndrome. There are a few confused questions suspending. The followings are the author’s personal opinions.
    1. Proteus Syndrome is a group of deformities caused by multiple genetic mutations, which abnormally expressed in multiple cell groups in different system, which is a neglected, not well-known, but very important group of congenital deformity syndromes
    2. Each type of malformation has a different level of manifestations. Most minor malformations may be completely ignored, only a few of exceedingly severe deformities was diagnosed definitely.
    3. Maybe, the incidence of Proteus Syndrome is 10 times higher than that of one per million. The rates of definite diagnosis are very low, less than 1/%.
    4. Up to now, about 210 cases were reported in the literature. The author Jiang Li estimate that about 100,000 people with such disease exist in the world, including about 20,000 cases in China.
    5. The majority of cases are misdiagnosed as other diseases, such as: Macromelia, Macrodactyly, macroch(e)iria, macropodia, (hemihypertrophy), hemifacial hypertrophy, megalencephaly-capillary malformation, or other syndromes. A part of the similar deformity did not see any doctor for life.
    6. treatment of Proteus Syndrome: surgical plasty is the only way to solve the probpem.

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