Hi, my name is Anna and I am 14 years old. My scoliosis was found in 2010 when I was 6 during an x-ray because it hurt to breathe. My mom took me to see an orthopedist, Dr. Goodwin, who said my curves were small and I didn't need bracing yet. One year later, my curve went from 19 degrees to 23 degrees, so we decided to start bracing in hopes that my curve wouldn't get much worse. I wore a Providence Brace, which was only worn at night while I slept. In February of 2016, I switched to a Rigo Cheneau brace made by Luke Stikeleather in Virginia. I decided to go to this brace because my curve had increased from 29 to 36 in about 8 months during growth AND I had met Luke and learned about this this brace at the 2014 Convention. I also do Schroth physical therapy to help me.
I started the Cleveland group in 2013 and I love Curvy Girls and our group. We meet once a month to support each other and do fun things too. I have been fortunate to be able to attend the CG Conventions in 2014 and 2016 where I learned a lot about leadership and made some great friends!
My mom and I have done some presentations to PTA groups and our school board about the importance of screening for scoliosis. I have also been to one of my CG members schools to educate about scoliosis. Our group has held 2 walkathons as well to bring awareness and fundraise for Convention. Each year since 2014, I write to the Governor to Proclaim June National Scoliosis Awareness Month. In 2017, I wrote to our Mayor, and he made a resolution for the city to do the same!
I thought that it was going to be just a routine thirteen yearold checkup, but it didn’t turn out the way that I had expected. I was diagnosed with scoliosis on July 9, 2015. I immediately knew that this was going to change my life from there on out.
It didn’t take doctors long to come to the consensus that I would be put into a back brace. Seeing “it” for the first time felt like the Earth was crashing down, and my limbs felt so heavy. I knew though, that I had to pick myself back up and hold my head higher than I ever had before. I swore to myself that I was going to be strong no matter what.
The first day was definitely the hardest, but it got better every day from there on out. There were good days, and there were bad days, but you have to stay strong through all of them. At first I thought that my brace was the worst thing that ever happened to me, but now I can see that it has been one of the best.
Kiki & Alyse 2013-14
My name is Naiara and 13 years old. I love to draw and I run cross country. I speak Spanish and English and I visit my family over in Europe almost every summer in a place called the Basque Country (between Spain and France). I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 9 with a curve of 24 degrees. I believe it is okay to be sad about your scoliosis. It is okay to be a little bit scared. And it is okay to feel like no one understands you. This is why the Curvy Girls support group was invented. We are here for you when you need help.
When I was diagnosed with scoliosis, the doctors told me to wait for another xray six month later before doing anything. But my mom was not having that. So I began to do Schroth (a physical therapy) to keep my curve progression at a minimum. When we went back to the doctor, we were not so lucky with the results and my curve had progressed 8 degrees a total of 32 degrees. So we went to Washington, DC and got a Rigo Cheneau brace. I had a wonderful experience watching mesmerized as the brace maker, Luke Stikeleather, worked swiftly to make the brace to fit my torso.
Afterwards, I continued to do Schroth physical therapy 5 days a week and wore my brace for 21 hours a day for 2 ½ years. It was extremely difficult for me to keep up with the needs and demands of the curve. I often hated it, but I kept breathing and took it one day at a time. The Rigo brace and Schroth worked together, as I was told, and kept my curve from progressing for another year. By the middle of seventh grade, I was finally able to go to school without my brace. I was thrilled!
For the first couple of months without the brace at school, I quickly realized that I didn't have the back support that I had before so my back would hurt. I would have to pay attention to my posture all day at school to avoid pain, but over time this is happening less and less. Now I am at the point where I only have to wear my brace during the night. And I don't know where this roller coaster could take me. I have a feeling that this is not the end. And there is still another hill to ride. But whatever happens, I will get through it. And so will you.