Past LV Leader
My name is Aspen. I’m 17 years old and a senior in high school. When I was in middle school, I injured myself in track and I went to my family doctor to see what could be done about it. The doctor diagnosed me with Scoliosis and I was referred to a specialist right away. After completing multiple x-rays, it was found out that I had two 70-degree curves in my spine which were crushing my heart and lungs. Later that year, I underwent a nine-hour full spinal fusion surgery for T2-L5 Scoliosis correction. I had to go through several weeks of physical therapy, and I was always in pain. I had to stop taking the painkillers soon after the surgery because they had given me migraines, anemia, and a stomach ulcer.
After the long recovery, I started cheering again, and my cheer team recognized my limitations and were so proud of how hard I was working to get back on my feet again. I started running 5k races and playing volleyball soon after because I didn’t want my physical limitations to stop me. I am a local titleholder in the Miss America Organization and I competed for the title of Miss Nevada. There is a huge stigma regarding Scoliosis, and through my personal platform “Embrace Your Scars” I have been visiting children’s hospitals, volunteering at the Special Olympics, and helping people understand Scoliosis. After talking with my orthopedic surgeon, I found out that there are no active Scoliosis Support Groups in my state at all. I found out about “CG Scoliosis” through Martha Hunt’s Instagram and I knew right away that I wanted to help girls that are experiencing the same thing that I did.