"A friend's smile is a curve that sets everything straight!"
Hi everyone, my name is Talia and I love living in the “Big Apple!” I have a twin brother, Lucas and a younger sister, Georgia. I was first diagnosed with scoliosis in 2012 at age 12 during a camp checkup. We were all completely taken by surprise but through a lot of research and luck we met Rachel and her amazing mother, Terry and they helped us navigate the process. After meeting with many specialists, we put together a great team that includes Dr. Vitale and Align Clinic to give me the best chance at holding my curves. I wanted to try everything that I could to prevent my curves from increasing, so my mother and I spent a week at Scoliosis Rehab in Wisconsin learning Schroth exercise techniques which I currently practice 3-5 days a week. The day we arrived in Wisconsin for our first appointment it was 8 degrees below zero and my mother had to pour warm water on the windshield to help defrost it as we stood chipping away at the ice!
All of my friends and school have been extremely supportive. At first I felt really self-conscious wearing my brace but then I realized that most people didn’t even notice it unless they hugged me. The only frustrating part for me was that I had to quit the school basketball team and give up tennis because I learned from my physical therapist and doctor that it may not be good to repeatedly “turn into” your curves. Although nothing has been proven, I felt that I didn’t want to take any chances. Now I’m focusing on my artistic side and have discovered a passion for photography, which I study during and after school. New York City is bursting with energy and is an amazing place to photograph! My father has a big photography collection so perhaps it’s genetic! I love my friends and family, traveling the world and my favorite thing to eat is frozen yogurt with yummy toppings!
This past spring, my best friend in the world, Kate, who was my number one support system all along, was ironically diagnosed with scoliosis! We couldn’t believe it and neither could our doctor. While best friends share a lot, and I knew she always “had my back,” I certainly didn’t want to share this! We are so lucky to have each other on this journey and we are extremely proud and excited to be co-leading Curvy Girls 'NYC' !
We know what it’s like to have someone to talk to about our scoliosis and want you to have someone too!
Hi, my name is Kate. I'm 13 years old, and I live in New York City with my parents, my older brother Sam, younger sister Allie, and dog Cosmo. In May 2013, I noticed that one of my shoulder blades stuck out more on one side than on the other side. I brought it to my mom's attention, and she took me to my pediatrician. He told us that we needed to see a specialist. We immediately called my best friend, Talia, and her parents since she had been diagnosed with scoliosis the year before. We made an appointment with Talia's doctor, who diagnosed me with scoliosis and a curvature of 17/48/37. I was devastated when I got this news, but decided not to let scoliosis stop me, and certainly not define me. Our doctor couldn't believe that two best friends were diagnosed with the same exact thing. I was measured and molded for a brace right away. Talia's whole family helped us figure out everything we needed to do, and connected us with Terry, Rachel, and Grant. We then took a trip to Wisconsin and learned how to do the Schroth exercises with Beth and Rebecca. All of these people really helped us to understand scoliosis and my body better. I now do Schroth with a great physical therapist here in NYC three times a week, as well as at home on my own.
At first I found it difficult to adjust to wearing my brace 23 hours a day, but have gotten pretty used to it. I even wear it during my volleyball practices. I used to play tennis, as well as compete in diving on both the 1 meter and 3 meter boards, but decided to stop participating in those particular sports so that I wouldn't take a chance of compromising my curve--making it worse. I didn't get discouraged, instead I got the opportunity to discover other sports. I love being an athlete, and as long as my doctor and physical therapist say it's okay for me to participate, I'm going to!
My friends at school have been so supportive. They don't see me any differently just because I have scoliosis. They still say that I am the same old Kate, although some of them do volunteer to carry my backpack, and I do get the best bed at sleepovers. I feel so lucky to have my best friend in the whole entire world by my side throughout this journey. Together we can do anything! It has been great to have each other, and when we say, "I've got your back," we really mean it.
I might have scoliosis, but scoliosis does not have me!