My favorite hobbies are dancing, playing piano, singing, and sewing. I’m also a Patient Ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children Chicago.
When I was 11 years old I was diagnosed with scoliosis. at the time my curve was only 38 degrees. following my diagnosis, I started physical therapy, specifically the Schroth Method. I was never braced because I was almost done growing by the time I was diagnosed.
I had to stop physical therapy a few months after I had started, due to a leg injury. Once I was able to go back to physical activities I didn’t go back to physical therapy because my curve was stable. a year and a half later, my curve progressed to 47 degrees. That’s when it was determined that I needed to have Spinal Fusion surgery.
I had my surgery on July 2, 2019, and my final curve was 56 degrees. I have 2 titanium rods and 13 screws fusing my spine. now being one year post-op, I’m glad I had the surgery.
I want to help and encourage girls going through scoliosis. I want to help them find confidence in themselves and also to realize that being different isn’t a bad thing, it’s what makes them special.
Vanessa Andrea 2017-19
My name is Anya. I was diagnosed in 2017 when I was 12 years old. I saw many doctors before I was put into a Boston Brace, which I wore for 18+ hours every day. This was very hard for me to adjust to and I was very quiet about it. Then at the end of 2017, at my 6-month appointment, I got the devastating news that my biggest curve had gone from 35 to 46 in a short amount of time, and I would likely need surgery. The next few months were probably one of the hardest times for me. I was drowning in worry and anxiety, and the fact that I felt as though I had to hide it from everyone certainly didn’t help. I was a 13-year-old girl seeing tons of doctors, deciding between surgery dates and procedures, and making decisions that no one should be thinking about in middle school. I had a spinal fusion surgery from about T1 to T12 on May 30, 2018. Recovery was tough but I eventually got through it. Now I am doing much better and I have learned to embrace my scoliosis and I love to tell people about it.
Besides spending time on the CG Forum, I like to read books and listen to podcasts. Some of my favorites are The Moth and Reply all. My favorite subject is math. A fun fact about me is that I lived in Colorado until I was about 5 years old and moved to Illinois.
I want to lead a group because I want to help other girls like I have been helped. I joined Curvy Girls forum in 2017 and have been active ever since. CG saved my life during these years and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without it. I have found a place to share my true self, be supported in my hardest days, and help others through the storm that is scoliosis. I don’t want anyone to feel alone with this, and I would love to help other girls through the same thing, and hopefully make their lives a little bit easier. I also know that it’s not just a one-way thing, that we can all help each other, and it can benefit me too. Curvy Girls is an amazing family of girls that only want to help, and I would be honored to help even more by being a leader.