Hannah Autry 2015-20
Natalie Senior Curvy Leader
Hi, my name is Natalie! I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 10 (June 22, 2007) with 9, 10, and 12 degree curves. Then, at age 12, on September 10, 2009, I was put into a TLSO brace with 10, 12 and 25 degree curves. I wore two TLSO braces for approximately two years total and as supplements to bracing, I have needed much physical therapy and pain management. Now, my curves have straightened to an amazing 3, 3, and 20 degrees!
I am passionate about acting, singing, dancing, learning, and most importantly, helping others; this is the reason I have joined Curvy Girls.
Since its beginnings, the Los Angeles Curvy Girls Scoliosis Support Group has grown to comprise over fifty girls--each with a unique scoliosis story. The group meets monthly and gladly welcomes new members!
Founding the Los Angeles Curvy Girls in 2011 and leading the group since then has opened up great opportunity for me to do what I love most and to learn the values of support and friendship. Joining Curvy Girls is the best decision I’ve ever made! I am extremely proud to be a Curvy Girl!
Although I am off to college across the country, I am continuing in my role as Senior Curvy Leader and will participate in meetings wherever I go.
Bay Area California
My name is Eleka and I'm 13. My first name rhymes with Erica and it means Mother Earth in Persian. I'm a big fan of Greek Mythology so the Greek version would be Gaia. I also love Harry Potter and Star Wars and Star Trek. I love to read and I always carry a book or a kindle with me. I'm a year-round swimmer. I've been swimming since I was five years old. I love to draw. I've won some drawing contests and I created a painting for my school auction, but I really prefer sketching in pencil to painting. I love cats, but I don't have one right now. My dog Buddy, a terrier mix, is pretty adorable.
I found out that I had scoliosis when I was 10. The doctor told us to watch it, and we watched it get worse. I got into a WCR brace when I was 12. I've changed doctors a few times; some of them were really not nice. My two curves were under 30 degrees and after a year the top curve has corrected a lot but the bottom hasn't. I grew so fast that I needed a new brace in 7 months. I don't like wearing the brace and it's a constant struggle. I didn't even want to go to the Curvy Girls Convention because I didn't know anyone and it was during summer vacation. I didn't see how seeing a bunch of other girls who were uncomfortable would help me. My mom made me go. I was surprised at how much it helped to be around girls that were going through the same thing I was. I wished there was a local chapter close to home so I suggested to my mom that maybe we start one. And it worked out from there. I'm excited and I hope we get a good group of girls who can help each other feel better.
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Rachel Leadership San Jose 2013-15
Meet Wanda & Sophie
San Diego California
Hi! My name is Wanda. I have been dancing all my life. During the summer before I started 7th grade, I was with scoliosis. At that time, I was playing tennis on the side.
The doctor recommended surgery and bracing as an option since my curves were not small. Later, I was introduced to the WCR brace, the same type of brace I wear to this day. I had also started Schroth therapy around that time. I had some trouble getting used to the brace and the new precautions I had to take to prevent my curves from getting worse. Due to that, I had to quit tennis. Gradually, I was able to adjust to my brace. I have had 3 back braces throughout the course of 3 years.
I want to help other girls that are going through the same thing I went through. I hope to support other girls in this journey!
Hi, my name is Sophia and I live in San Diego. I am a freshman in high school. I love dance and am on my dance team at school in addition to dancing at my studio. I also enjoy playing piano and singing. I like being adventurous and value spending time with family and friends.
Currently, I have a 44 degree thoracic curve. I was diagnosed when I was 9 years old. Ever since then, I have worn a brace to school and as much as I can which is about 18 hours a day. I practice Schroth physical therapy and I am hoping my curve will stabilize or even improve.
I am looking forward to getting more involved in Curvy Girls to help empower myself as well as other girls with scoliosis. It is nice to know that we are not alone and to be able to help and support each other on our journeys.
Hi! I’m Anjali, and I am 13 years old. I love to dance—I’ve been learning Indian classical dance since I was 4. I also enjoy reading, acting, and travelling.
My scoliosis journey began in August of 2016. My family and I discovered I had scoliosis at a regular doctor’s appointment, and the whole situation took us by surprise. We had barely heard of scoliosis, and never imagined that I would have it. I was diagnosed with a 43 degree thoracic curve, and soon received a Minnesota brace. Initially, we were very worried, and my mom spent hours scouring the internet for helpful information. We received so much help from people across the country— people we didn’t even know! It felt comforting to know that someone had my back (ba-dum-psh!) and were there to support me. As I discovered new things, like Schroth therapy and Curvy Girls, I felt more confident, and realized how lucky I was to have this support. It’s challenging to live with scoliosis and wear an uncomfortable brace all the time, and it’s even harder when you don’t have anyone to talk to. No one should have to go through it alone, and I feel that Curvy Girls has given me a great opportunity to give the same help and encouragement to other girls going through scoliosis.
Meet Emma & Maddy
Mt. Diablo California
March 30, 2016. The doctor told me the news I never could have expected. My spine measured 43 degree upper and 38 degree lower curves. I had no idea what this meant, but I would soon discover that those numbers were key in a scoliosis diagnosis. After my diagnosis, and a lot of x-rays and doctor visits, the Spine Specialist decided it would be best to put me in a Boston Brace. After 4 months, they came to the conclusion that the brace wasn’t going to work, so we had to explore surgical options.
As I am a dancer, I feared fusion surgery would have taken away flexibility and range of motion I needed, so I opted for Vertebral Tethering VBT. On January 6th 2017 Dr. Diab, my orthopedic surgeon, gave us the date: April 6th. I would have a single tether to correct my S-shaped curve. While the date was perfect in some ways, it happened to fall a few days before my colorguard band trip to Disneyland. As upset and frustrated as I was, we had to keep that date. On April 6, I walked into surgery with 50/40 degree curves and walked out with about 20/18. It was a very steep recovery, but now, many months later, I’m back to dance, colorguard, gymnastics and running without pain or any issues at all.
Maddy and I are excited to be co-leaders of the Mt. Diablo Curvy Girls Group, as we met and became very close while we were both going through our scoliosis journey. We are excited to provide support to others who are going through this as well.
My name is Maddy (Madeline) and I am 13 years old. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 12. I was in shock to find out I had a curve of 42 degrees in my thoracic spine. I didn’t even know what scoliosis was at this point. In order to keep my curve from getting worse, my doctor put me into a WCR brace. This brace was shaped to my body and helped push the curve in different ways. I wore this for 20 hours a day! It was pretty hard. 18 months later, they told me that my curve had increased to 52 degrees. They said the brace worked how it was supposed to but I just grew so fast that it couldn’t keep up. So my doctor recommended a spinal fusion. I am a dancer and dance is my passion. It would be very hard to lose my flexibility in my back, so I went a different route. We learned about spinal tethering and that is when I met with Dr. Diab at UCSF. He told me I was a candidate for the surgery, but needed to have it done right away while I still had growth remaining. It was scheduled for July 20th, 2017. I was very nervous going into it, but I knew everything was going to be just fine. I am now post op and doing great!
When I was going through my surgery, I was lucky enough to be mentored by my Co-Leader Emma. She had the same surgery a couple of months earlier. She was such a huge help during the whole process and I don’t know how I could have done it without her. Now I want to help other girls with their scoliosis journey. Emma and I are so excited to be leaders of Curvy Girls of Mount Diablo!
Orange County California
Hi there everybody!! My name’s Abby and in 2016 I was officially diagnosed with scoliosis. How I was first diagnosed is really a funny story: a parent at a Holiday party noticed my curve and told my mom, who in turn asked my friend’s dad, an orthopedist, who looked and confirmed that, indeed, I had scoliosis. Afterwards, I asked my chiropractor, who insisted that it was nothing. Several months later my pediatrician finally ordered x-rays, showing an S curve of 15 and 16 degrees. After another several months, I got to see an orthopedist who, in turn, wasn’t concerned with me, even though my curve increased by about 10 degrees. Thankfully, my mom did some research and was able to find Schroth Therapy, and she was also able to get me approval for a Boston brace. Currently, I am able to keep my curve genuinely stable, but it is still slowly increasing overtime.
Having scoliosis is now part of me but when I was first diagnosed I was extremely scared. Since 2011, I’ve been a synchronized swimmer, and before that a dancer. I initially thought that scoliosis would prevent me from swimming, dancing, and all possible dreams of pursuing a career in any physical activity. Now being 15 and on my eighth year of synchronized swimming, I’ve realized that it isn’t something that will hold me back. I was lucky with my scoliosis, because my curve isn’t severe enough for surgery, knock on wood. I know that other girls are faced with much harder challenges, and I want them to see that there’s a whole world of scoliosis girls to support them. I want to help other girls see that their bodies are beautiful and unique, and that scoliosis is not something to be ashamed of.
Central Valley California
Hi! I'm Lauren, and I am currently a freshman in high school. I love playing tennis; I have been playing since I was five years old. I also enjoy reading, traveling, skiing, and spending time with friends and family.
My scoliosis journey began in 2018 when I was diagnosed with a mild curvature. At the time, I did not need bracing or surgery. So, for a year, I got x-rays every six-months to track the progression [if there was any]. Sadly, after about a year, my family and I found out that my curvature significantly increased. Since I was still growing, the doctor told us that my curve would probably worsen unless I got treatment. Therefore, my doctor recommended bracing to keep the curve in place. I soon received a Rigo-Cheneau brace, which I wore 17-18 hours a day. At first, I did not wear it to school because I was embarrassed. When I realized this is just who I am, I realized it was nothing to be ashamed of. Once I accepted that this is who I am, I no longer felt ashamed. I am currently weaning out of my brace since I have very little growth remaining.
I wanted to become a group leader to help form a community of empowerment and support for girls with scoliosis. I hope that all girls with scoliosis know that they are not alone. I did not have a support group like Curvy Girls, so I felt alone during most of my bracing journey. Now that I went through most of my bracing journey, I hope to make a difference in the scoliosis community!