Senior Leader Sara
Hey! I am Sara and I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the end of my 6th grade year. I wore a 23 hour Boston Brace diligently throughout 7th grade but my curve was just too aggressive and I had surgery on November 10th 2010, when I was in 8th grade. The surgery took 5 hours, and I grew 2 inches. My scar is now a beautiful, translucent pencil line, running all the way down my back. This scar tells the story of my choice to take away the pain of scoliosis and illustrates how I found my voice at a critical time. The surgery was a big deal, and I did encounter some complications, which made me doubt my decision at times. Years later, I understand this was the best decision I have ever made.
Curvy Girls really helped me to develop confidence and feel more comfortable about my situation. As a leader and active participant I see how Curvy Girls has given a voice and strength to members around the world. Now confident members, wear braces outside their shirts and dresses that expose surgery scars, something that used to intimidate me. My involvement with Curvy Girls helped me appreciate that scars and braces can be beautiful, and tell a story in which you can be your own hero. I hope that all struggling scoliosis patients can find Curvy Girls and be the hero/heroine of their scoliosis story.
Whatever your needs, we are here for you. As a Senior Leader, I provide support and consultation to other groups and Leaders. In 2015, I was appointed to Curvy Girls Board of Directors.
My name is Ashlyn and I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 13-years-old and in 7th grade during a routine physical examination. I am in high school now. My doctor suspected this diagnosis because she is also diagnosed with scoliosis, and she referred me to the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Orthopedic Clinic for evaluation and treatment. The first time I went to Johns Hopkins I remember feeling overwhelmed and scared. I am an athlete. I play travel soccer and have aspirations to play this sport in college. I also enjoy running, previously played basketball competitively, and love being outdoors. At the time of my diagnosis, I was also performing the middle school musicals and plays. My fear was that the treatment for my form of scoliosis would prevent me from continuing to do the things that I love.
Soon into my scoliosis journey, I was recommended for a night brace and to begin the Schroth Method of physical therapy. It was difficult adjusting to both of these forms of treatment, requiring lots of positivity, commitment and adjustment to my routine. However, I was determined to do what I could to limit the change to my curve. PT appointments were weekly and required me to be disciplined in completing these exercises at home everyday. Through physical therapy, I have learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses and how to keep my back healthy, which has helped me as an athlete. Adjusting to wearing a brace to bed every night was the bigger challenge. I remember panicking when I tried on my brace for the first time, never imagining that I would be able to sleep soundly. I remember first feeling embarrassed by my brace, wanting it out of sight except at night. But with time, I have adjusted to wearing my night brace which I have been wearing now for 1 ½ years. I have shared my scoliosis journey with my closest friends who have come to be some of my strongest supports. My journey is not over. I continue to do PT exercises daily, and I am still wearing a night brace, and there are days when this comes easier than others.
Being a Curvy Girls’ Leader allows me to help support and encourage others in their scoliosis journey, recognizing that no two journeys will be the same. Through my journey, I have had the opportunity to assist in training doctors and providers on early detection and on my treatment process. I have discovered that providing support, education and speaking about my treatment has empowered me to want to support others, and encourage others with scoliosis to persevere through their treatment while holding onto their goals and dreams.