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Hi, my name is Caroline! I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 11 years old. Scoliosis runs in my family so it was no surprise that I had it, but I was still so worried. There were many questions that I had that no one could answer for me. What was going to happen to ballet? I had been dancing since I was 3 years old, and I didn’t want to give it up. Was I going to have surgery? Any kid would be terrified of that possibility. I just wanted to know how this would affect me, and unless someone could tell the future or had a time machine hidden in their basement, no one was able to tell me.

A year later, I was prescribed to wear a brace. I wore it obediently until the summer before my freshman year of high school. That was when I told my doctor that I wanted to be done with it. Only a few weeks before school started which was about 2 years of bracing, I was allowed to stop wearing my brace. I was finally free again! That March, however, I was told that my curve had progressed pretty rapidly, and I was going to need surgery.

On June 22, 2021, I had my spinal fusion. We had to wake up at 4 in the morning to drive downtown. I was so nervous that my younger sister had been texting me for nearly the entire drive when she easily could’ve decided to go back to sleep. After the operation, I was allowed to go home after only three days in the hospital. Prior to my surgery, I had been worried that it would change my life, and it did. I wouldn’t change a thing though. I had to take a break from ballet, but I was still able to do a dance class at my school that I had done the last year. I was able to explore and fall in love with new styles of dance. Now, I am back in ballet and doing all the things that I was able to do before. In the extra time that I had in the absence of my intense ballet schedule, I advanced my love for reading and writing. My favorite genre had always been fantasy. I also joined the science bowl team at my school and got involved with the Science National Honors Society.

Stepping into this leadership position means that I get to help others in a way that I never could. I get to help girls with their journey and provide them with the “big sister” figure that I needed when I was going through similar things.

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