Dwarfism Patient Endures Painful Surgeries to Transform Body

Tiffanie DiDonato discusses grueling arm and leg-lengthening surgeries in new memoir.
2:24 | 11/30/12

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Transcript for Dwarfism Patient Endures Painful Surgeries to Transform Body
How far would you go to transform your body? In a new book "dwarf," a memoir, tiffanie explains the extraordinary lengths she went through to do just that. Reporter: As a military wife, tiffanie seems to personify the philosophy, adapt and overcome. Tiffanie had a rare form of dwarfism. At age eight, she had her first surgery to gain length in her arms and four inches in her legs. Describe the post-surgical pain. It hurt so much, you freeze. It's almost as if you scream, it's going to hurt worse. Reporter: Her mother raised her to be a fierce fighter. So, at 15, tiffanie wanted to do the ghastly surgery again. And this time, ignore the four-inch maximum limit. It was all about independence. Doing things on her own. Brushing her own hair. My biggest fear was her being dependent on others for her care. Reporter: Tiffanie gained an unprecedented ten additional inches of height, putting her at 4'10", right on the cusp of little people status. If you wear heels, you're no longer a little person. Right. Reporter: What allowed tiffanie to gain 14 inches of height? There were many occasions when she and I talked about stopping the procedure. And accepting a compromise. Six inches, eight inches or ten inches. But she wanted to keep going with this. It was tenacity and endurance. Reporter: Tiffanie's father, who still has mixed emotions on it, admits the surgeries may have taken a toll. I think she lost a little mobility with the extreme lengthing. But she feels good about herself. And that's the most important thing. Reporter: Tiffanie says she has no regrets. I don't feel I was being reckless. I was aware of the risks. It's beautiful to know I can take care of my son. It makes me feel like a mom. Reporter: For "good morning america," juju chang, abc news, new york. I cannot wait to see more of tiffanie's story. And you can see juju chang's report tonight on "nightline."

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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