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Gulliver and Thumbelina

February 15 2013, 15:59

By Nurgul KHAIRULLINA

 

He is 26 and huge – with a height of 217cm he weighs 140kg. We met Aleksander DEMEUOV in a sports complex in Balykshi municipal district – he is among the leading players of the oblast’s sitting volleyball team. As a member of Kazakhstan national team he has traveled to many countries and won a lot of awards.

At first I felt some anxiousness, but his spontaneity made it easy to conversate.  

In what age did you notice that you started to differ from other people in size?

"I was in 7th form at school. I live with my mother and my 14-year-old brother now. They have normal size bodies. Doctors diagnosed me with gigantism."

What inconveniences or, in contrary, advantages do you feel because of your height?

"In volleyball big height gives certain advantages. However, skills matter first. In everyday life there is a plenty of minuses. In our apartment in a 5-storey block we had to remove all the doors and make them arcs so I can freely walk through them. To me buying clothes and footwear is a big trouble. I buy outfit during travels to competitions in other cities and countries. Of course, I could go to tailors, but it’s too expensive."

How did you come to volleyball?

"I have been playing volleyball for 4 years. Now I am also a sports instructor. Our team is the 2011 champion of the country and a participant of 2012 World Cup in Egypt. This year we already won top places in international tournaments in Poland and Russia. Sport is a great pleasure for me.  As a whole, I try not to think of my syndrome and live the way I think is true. I had a big love in my life which ended. I’m sure I will find my other half."

What are your plans ?

"I want to find a nice girl, create a family and become a father. In sport, I want to win the Olympic gold together with my friends"

 

Aiman, the mother of 10-year-old Akerke says that doctors in the Astana Mother and Child Center diagnosed her daughter as having chondrodystrophy.

"She was born normal – with a height of 54cm and weight of 3,300gr. I spotted retardation of her growth at the age of 1 year and 8 months. Since then we’ve been passing medical examinations and receiving treatment. When she was 6 she was operated in Astana by the method of Professor Ilizarov. At the time, the method was a new thing in the medical practice, but we took a risk. Before the surgery her height was 85cm and now she has reached 1m," Aiman says.  

According to doctors, the girl is growing, albeit slowly.

The Ilizarov unit is making great contribution to Akerke’s achievement.

"Before her 3rd year in school she used to receive education at home. Then I managed to get her to a normal school. My girl has many talents. Besides school, she sings, dances and takes part in various contests. At the republican ZhulduzAy festival she won third place and the people’s choice award. She likes to draw. In school, her teachers and classmates always ask her to help in whatever events held there."

Akerke is a very confident girl with outstanding interpersonal skills. Making herself comfortable in chair, her appearance demonstrated she was fully ready for the interview.

Akerke, what form are you in?
 "Fifth."

What subjects do you like most?
"Maths, English and drawing."

What do you want to be in future?
"I like to set up house interior. Therefore I want to become an interior designer. I dream to travel to France and introduce myself to the world of fashion."

Do you have many friends?
"I do. I try to be friends with everyone."

Do you study well?
"I receive good marks only. See, I have certificates of merit, she shows me her every certificate one-by-one."

Believe or not, one can hardly resist the charisma of this little princess.

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