Meet Gabrielle
Guyana

Hello! I am an 18-year-old from Guyana, South America and was diagnosed with Scoliosis at the age of 7 or 8.

 

Despite my young age, bracing was never prescribed. After years of never wearing a brace with only a little physiotherapy, my curves continued to increase. I was a 17-year-old with a 180-degree curve (Yes, 180 degrees!!) Because we don’t have Scoliosis surgery in my country, when it was time for surgery, I had to travel to India for treatment. It was a very long and tiresome trip, especially post-surgery.

 

Such curve degrees increase risks. I required two surgeries because of the impact Scoliosis had on my organs and unfortunately, there were complications during my 12-hour surgery. I am in a wheelchair now working hard at rehabilitation and have regained some movement. It's all coming together slowly, but surely (Thank you Lord).

 

The one word I’ll use to describe myself is RESILIENT. I am not a hobby person and an enjoyable day for me would be a day reading a lovely book or watching a season of ABC Grey’s Anatomy. I have a passion for mental health and hope to one day have a career in that field.  

 

Scoliosis is overlooked by most people in my country. I chose to be a Curvy Girls Leader because we need to raise awareness of Scoliosis and treatment. I don’t want others to suffer through what I have. If kids can have treatment earlier and keep their curves manageable, if surgery is required, it won’t be such significant consequences as I experienced. 

 

As a pre-teen I hadn't any one to talk to who could relate well with me, who could say I understand with real understanding. I believe I can be that someone for others and help other girls to be that someone for each other. I want to bring awareness to my home land where people don't know how to deal with Scoliosis physically and emotionally and to empower other girls living with Scoliosis to be courageous and to let them know that they are NOT their spine.  

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