My name is Neve. I’m a 16-year-old girl and I live in Fairlie, a small town in the south island of New Zealand. I am the head of my school’s young farmers club which I’m really happy about. I have lived in a farm my whole life and I love this. I play field hockey throughout the year. I’m lucky to be able to still play with my scoliosis and I will keep playing once I get my brace too. During the week, I live down on the coast in the Timaru Girls High School hostel. I have attended boarding school since I was 14 when we found out that I have scoliosis.
We found out that I have scoliosis when Mum took me to the chiropractor because I was getting heaps of really bad migraines. I was sent to get X-rays and we were told that I have a double curvature-- one at the top of my spine and one in my lower spine. We chose to do traction instead of having the spinal fusion surgery. At the start of the year, we were going to fly to Australia to get a brace but that’s when COVID-19 broke out in New Zealand so we weren’t allowed out of the country. We later found out that there is a scolibrace clinic in Auckland. So now I have a brace on the way which is really good.
I want to be able to help others who have scoliosis. I want to be the person to be there for people because I had no one here for me when I started my scoliosis story. To be a leader to me is to be someone who helps others through tough times, as well as being the voice for others who don’t want to speak up.