Hi there! I’m Abbey, the leader of the Central NY Curvy Girls group! I live in Syracuse but am currently in Rochester most of the year for college, and I am nineteen years old. I started my group in June of 2014 after being diagnosed with scoliosis in September of 2013. My curves were at 33 degrees and 24 degrees when originally diagnosed. I was immediately sent to Dr. Palomino and she had me wear a Boston brace for 22-23 hours a day. My mom discovered Curvy Girls in December and was enthralled from the start. When she realized that there wasn’t a group super close to us, she suggested that we start a group here. We reached out to Robin Stoltz and got in the works of setting up this group.
In May of 2014, my mom and I attended a meeting at the Hudson Valley group where I quickly became friends with Rachel and Katie, the past and present leaders of the group. They gave me a level of comfort that brought me out of the shell that I felt my brace had pushed me into. A month later, in June, we went to Long Island for the Curvy Girls Convention. While at the convention, my mom learned about the Rigo-Cheneau brace, more about Schroth physical therapy and EOS imaging. Besides the life-changing information provided, the convention brought me even more comfort and confidence in my brace and with my scoliosis. Once we got back from the convention, my mom made an appointment for me to see Dr. Sanders in Rochester and to get X-rays because he has an EOS imaging x-ray machine. She also looked more into the Rigo brace, and it was finally determined that we were going to travel to Virginia to have one made by Luke Stikeleather.
Being in the Rigo brace made me much more comfortable, despite it being easier to spot under my clothes. I walked into school that September with new confidence and didn’t care who knew that I had scoliosis and that I was wearing a back brace. I then decided to travel to Wisconsin with my mom in July 2015 to Scoliosis Rehab to learn Schroth. The first few days with Rebecca and Beth, the physical therapists, I was confused and wasn’t too happy. But on day three, in my morning session with Rebecca, it clicked. I understood what I was doing, and I was so happy. I went back to Scoliosis Rehab in 2016 for a refresher with Rebecca, and I got released from day bracing and got a new Providence brace (that I did not like at all). I went to the Curvy Girls Convention again in 2016 and made even more friends. In January of 2017, I was officially released from all bracing and was told that I did not need surgery. I am now on a three-year checkup protocol for new X-rays, but so far everything has remained stable.
Outside of Curvy Girls, I enjoy reading, working, relaxing, and spending time with my friends and family, and time spent having to do far more homework than I would like. In the beginning, I didn’t like having scoliosis and wearing a brace. Now, I look back and I see all that I have gained from it. I found amazing friends who understand what I went through with my scoliosis. I gained a new sense of self-confidence. I have finally reached a place where I am accepting of my scoliosis, know that it is a part of who I am now, and have turned it into a positive in my life. Through Curvy Girls, I hope to help girls discover these things as well and feel as supported and loved as I do by members from across the world.