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Teen with rare gigantism needs size 20 shoes

13-Year-Old With Rare Condition Needs Size 20 Shoes

By Jill Glavan

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 24, 2014) - A teenager with a form of a rare condition called gigantism needs help finding shoes for the new school year, since his feet have grown so big.

Like any big sister, Brandy Ellinger wants the world for her younger brother Dakota Deal. Lately, though, she's just wanted something simple.

"They're just hard to find," Ellinger said.

She's talking about Dakota's shoes. A small part of life for most of us, shoes have become a big problem for him. Diagnosed with a rare form of gigantism, his bones don't stop growing and at just 13 years old, he's a size 20, 4E width.

That's close to Shaquille O'Neal, at size 23, and bigger than even the Pacers' Roy Hibbert.

"When we do find them, they last for three or four months and he just goes through them fast," Ellinger said.

At Decatur Middle School, Dakota's teacher Jenny Gaston sees his size affect him from day-to-day.

"You don't really notice how his stature affects him in the classroom until you can't put him in a regular seat because his legs don't fit under the table," Gaston said.

So, the school got him better seating and even a new keyboard for his bigger hands.

As for Dakota himself, in some ways he has learned to accept his size. That's especially true in his love of football and wrestling.

"John Cena's my favorite and I want to be just like him," Dakota said.

When it comes to fitting in at his age it's not always easy, though.

"(Kids) would say a rude comment like, 'Hey big foot,' and I wouldn't like it," Dakota said.

That's even more reason Ellinger is hoping someone will help her find a place to get Dakota some cool new shoes that he can show off this school year. They'd be a little piece of normalcy for a kid with a big heart.

"He doesn't want to be called big, you know, he just wants to fit in," Ellinger said.

"It would mean the whole world to me," Dakota said.

If you think you can help, email reporter Jill Glavan at jglavan(at)fox59.com.

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coopdabomb July 26 2014 at 4:13 PM

I know just how he feels, I have the same problem with condoms.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
7 replies
dlong0930 July 26 2014 at 6:47 AM

New Balance Men's Cross-Training
New Balance MX623WN
Now: $44.75
Orig: $67.99
Save: $23.24 (34%), shoe made in Lawrence, MA Maybe he can contact them and its free shipping.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
sadiemae1214 dlong0930 July 26 2014 at 12:05 PM


Flag Reply 0 rate up
EUGENE July 26 2014 at 9:15 AM

basketball players should donate him shoes they no longer wear .i'm sure they would .

Flag Reply +3 rate up
rouster92 July 26 2014 at 9:26 AM

If somehow Shaq would see this he would help, he's a generous man.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
wrightotcm rouster92 July 26 2014 at 11:33 AM

why Shaq? how about a shoe company and big mans clothes company..

Flag Reply +2 rate up
balaland July 26 2014 at 6:06 AM

God Bless you son, go after your dreams...

Flag Reply +2 rate up
PASTALIDUS July 26 2014 at 7:43 AM

If I knew how to get in touch with this guy Dakota I would not only tell him where to buy the shoes he needs but buy him a sharp pair of New Ballance shoes.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
wrightotcm PASTALIDUS July 26 2014 at 11:38 AM


Flag Reply 0 rate up
nobody949 July 26 2014 at 5:58 PM

why can't the big guys like Nike etc.
give this boy some shoes? Step up!!
Free publicity.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
brennemanbelkin July 26 2014 at 1:13 PM

Feel bad for this kid.
I play hell finding size 14.
(Sadly, the rumors aren't true)

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
spdy65 brennemanbelkin July 26 2014 at 8:05 PM

Speak for yourself (wink)

Flag Reply 0 rate up
lynneyvonn July 26 2014 at 7:10 PM

Hey Dakota!
You just hang in there! I'm sure that the shoe/sneaker situation will resolve itself. I know it can be hard to be different (I'm different in that I'm very small, and I have trouble finding stylish clothes that fit also) but just remember that while being different is hard, it gets easier as you get older. Stay the awesome gentleman that you are and you'll stay special in more ways than one!!!!

All the best!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
skyofblue17 July 26 2014 at 7:21 AM

He is cute, looks good, and is a sweetheart. The bullies need to be nipped in the bud. If anyone hears him being made fun of, they need to come to his defense. The schools need to be aware of any bullying also. There must be somebody out there to donate some shoes.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
shirley.butterfield skyofblue17 July 26 2014 at 12:13 PM

Are you serious? who is going to bully a kid B I G G E R than they are?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
lynneyvonn shirley.butterfield July 26 2014 at 7:12 PM

You are very very naïve, Shirley. Any kid that is different (for ANY reason) is a target, and there are all kinds of bullying. I'm sure that he's being bullied a lot... sadly.

Flag +3 rate up
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