|Sun Ming Ming is only
22-years-old and already is one of the tallest people in the
world at 7 feet 8 inches tall.
came to the United States earlier this year to work out
with professional basketball trainers in the hopes of one
day making it into the NBA. He has even participated in
private work-outs with several NBA teams, some of which
later suggested medical testing due to their concerns over
his lack of stamina and endurance.
Sun Ming Ming took their advice, and on
June 26th, it was determined that he had a tumor pressed
against his pituitary gland. The tumor was preventing proper
production of testosterone, thus explaining the low stamina
and endurance. It also was instigating prolongued over-production
of growth hormone (GH), a condition known as "acromegaly"
that causes various parts of the body to sustain abnormal
and unstoppable growth. If left untreated, acromegaly often
results in serious illness and premature death.
Acromegaly can be treated via three methods:
surgical removal of the tumor, drug therapy, and radiation
therapy of the pituitary. The goals of treatment are to
reduce GH production to normal levels, to relieve the pressure
that the growing pituitary tumor exerts on the surrounding
brain areas, to preserve normal pituitary function, and
to reverse or ameliorate the symptoms of acromegaly. Doctors
have determined that the best course of action in Sun Ming
Ming's case is for immediate surgical removal of the tumor.
Surgery has been tenatively scheduled
scheduled for September 26th, to be performed by Dr. Hrayr
Shahinian, director of the Skull Base Institute, at Cedars-Sinai
Medical Center in Los Angeles. The surgery calls for Dr.
Shahinian to use fiber-optics to reach the tumor through
an incision in the nose and, with special tools, remove
the tumor tissue. This procedure is called transsphenoidal
surgery, and has already been postponed once due to lack
of funds. Although there is a new date scheduled for the
surgery, September 26th, it is only tentatively scheduled,
and will be postponed again if Sun Ming Ming does not have
enough funding to pay for it. The surgery, ten year follow-up
treatments and therapy are estimated to cost over $100,000.
Sun Ming Ming in 2005. He travels
to America to prepare for the 2005 NBA draft. At age 21, he
has grown to 7 foot 8 and 3/4 inches tall and 360 pounds.
Charles Bonsignore and Passing Lane Sports,
are reaching out to the community for assistance via grassroots
and Internet campaigns. Mr. Bonsignore has been speaking to various
groups around the country, and a website has been set up to raise
Those wishing to donate will be donating directly
to Sun Ming Ming, and not through any third parties. Contributions
are to be made out to Sun Ming Ming via check, direct deposit,
or wire transfer, and sent to the El Monte branch of East West
Bank in California at 9550 Flair Drive, El Monte, CA 91731. The
bank is well aware of this fundraising campaign and will answer
any inquiries. As per the bank's request, Sun's bank account number,
#22116339, should be included on the backs of any checks.
More information can be found at www.savesunmingming.com
and through his agent:
Charles A. Bonsignore
Passing Lane Sports
9452 Telephone Road, Suite 131
Ventura, CA 93004