Hi! My name is Annika, and I am sixteen years old. When I was thirteen, I found out I had scoliosis. It was actually in a bit of an odd way. I noticed an abnormality in my back a couple years earlier but hadn’t really paid much attention to it. The only reason I x-rayed my back was because my dance teacher said that she wanted to see if the abnormality was scoliosis. She was right and a new journey in my life began. From there, I was braced for about a year and now I am going to yearly checkups with my orthopedic surgeon. Through this whole experience, one of the things that stayed constant was dance. I have been dancing since I was two years old and loving it, most of the time. But no activity is perfectly suited to a person, so I’ve had ups and downs in my relationship with dance. However, dancing allowed me to attempt to retain the core strength I had before wearing the brace and build up that strength after the brace.
Along with dance, I love to read, swim at my lakehouse, hang out with my family, and play with my dog and cat. I have to say, scoliosis has been, and will be, an experience I will not forget even though I didn’t have surgery. I just need to remember that I’m not alone in the world of scoliosis; there are many others who are bent but not broken just like I am.
When I was first diagnosed with scoliosis I felt completely alone and I had no one to talk to who was going through the same thing. But now, after I have gone through it, I have realized that scoliosis is actually quite common. Through this realization, I have become more open with sharing my own story. I want to be the leader for many people struggling with scoliosis to talk to and receive advice from. I have had time to reflect on my own experience, so I feel capable to help others reflect on theirs in a positive and guiding way. I feel that it is important to have a base of support to go through an experience such as scoliosis, and I wish I had known more people when I was diagnosed who I could confide in besides my parents. Do not get me wrong, parents are an amazing resource to talk to about your struggles and victories with scoliosis, but it is not the same if they never went through the same experience.
By creating a group in my area through Curvy Girls, I want to be a rock for many girls going through the same shocking experience I went through when I was thirteen. I want to make a difference in the lives of those girls to make their experience the least painful and scary it can be.