Hi everyone, my name is Maddie and I am 13 years old. I live in the Upper Beaches in Toronto Ontario and I will be starting Grade 8 in the fall. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 10 years old by my family doctor as she knew that I was at risk of scoliosis due to the genetic condition I was born with. As soon as my doctor noticed a slight curve, she referred me to SickKids to get fitted for a back brace. Getting a brace seemed really hard as I knew it would change a lot of things in my life like my clothes, how much food I could eat, and basic activities during the day. I told my mum about my worries or concerns but she sometimes didn’t know the answers or how to help me. That’s when Curvy Girls came into my life. I joined Curvy Girls before I got my first brace which helped me so much. Between the time I was diagnosed and started wearing my brace, my curve progressed from 20 degrees to 27 degrees within a few months. I started wearing my brace for 1 hour a day and progressed quickly up to the required 20-22 hours a day. Hard to believe but I am now already on my third brace and have learned so many great tips and tricks along the way! I am a very positive person and have had to overcome many challenges in my life outside of my scoliosis so I try to stay happy even during tough times. I enjoy school and hanging out with my friends but my two favourite things to do are baking and swimming. Swimming is something I really love to do and it keeps me active while helping with my scoliosis.
I want to be able to help other girls that are going through the same thing as me. I was very grateful to have found out about Curvy Girls when I was first diagnosed and feeling scared and alone. I want to support other girls with scoliosis to let them know it will be okay and not as bad as they may think. I have lots of knowledge to share that helped me in terms of clothing, exercise, staying cool in summer, and going to school and camp. I want to make the group fun for everyone and a place that they can talk about their feelings with people who understand. Looking forward to meeting all the Curvy Girls in Toronto.