United Arab Emirates
My name is Zainab. I am 16 years old. I’m from Pakistan. I was born in the United Arab Emirates, and it’s where I live. I love learning new languages, reading books, playing sports and baking. My dream is to be an orthopedic surgeon so that I could treat patients with scoliosis, and try to provide them and their family with the type of care that my surgeon gave me and my family.
On 04th December 2014, at the age of 10, I was diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. I had a thoracolumbar, 20 degree, “C” shaped curve. I started wearing a brace in February of 2015, and honestly, I had a hate-hate relationship with my brace. I wore it for 3 years until my curve reached 60 degrees and I was told I needed surgery. Unlike most people, I was excited for my surgery. I had the surgery on 8th August 2018 in Pakistan, and I am fused from T4-L2. Recovery was hard, but I am lucky to have a supportive family, teachers and friends who made it much easier.
Since there wasn’t any scoliosis support group in the country, I decided to start a group in my area to raise awareness and to connect with other girls who have scoliosis and reassure them that they are not alone. As a leader, I am hoping to give other girls a safe environment where they can share their stories, with people similar to them and without being judged.