America's tallest living man — 7-foot-8 Igor Vovkovinskiy — has come to Massachusetts for custom shoes that, as the AP reports, "he hopes will help him live a normal life."
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has background on the 29-year-old from Rochester, Minn.:
His size 26 feet have endured 16 surgeries. The big man with the boyish face has managed to work and attend college, where he is studying to be a paralegal. But his life is mainly at home.
"After every surgery, I'd start to get better and try to get back to my life again," he said. "But then the wound opened up again. It was a cycle."
As the Star-Tribune reported last month, Vovkovinskiy "posted a plea on Facebook" seeking funds for costly, custom shoes. He soon raised tens of thousands of dollars from thousands of people.
But, according to the AP report, "Reebok says it's building the shoes at a cost of $12,000 to $20,000. It has helped Vovkovinskiy before and hopes to again, the company said."
Vovkovinskiy on Thursday visited Reebok headquarters in Canton, Mass., the AP says, "for a complex shoe-fitting that involved, among other things, custom pressure-mounting equipment, bio-foam ... and a handful of technicians."
Clarification at 4 p.m. This post has been updated to clear up the shoes' estimated cost to Reebok and who's paying, which varied from earlier, now-omitted reports to the AP's report.
This program aired on May 3, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.