Hello, my name is Kate. I am 11 years old and enjoy being on swim team, playing the piano, riding horses, creating arts and crafts, playing with my sister Ava and playing outside. I was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis in July 2013. My mom noticed that my right shoulder blade came out a little further than my left, so she pointed it out to my pediatrician at my 8- year well check. My doctor said that I had scoliosis, so she had me get x-rays. When my doctor called later that day, she said I had a 17 degree curve and a 15 degree curve and that I needed to see an orthopedist. My mom researched scoliosis so we thought the doctor would just keep on eye on my back. But no, we were wrong! The orthopedist said that I had an S shaped curve that was 32 degrees on top and 17 degrees on the bottom. He said I would need to go to Shriner’s Hospital in Portland to get a brace. I was scared. When we went to Shriner’s Hospital I had to get another x-ray. Dr. Krajbich said that I needed a Boston Brace so he sent me to see Don, an orthotist. I was scared and overwhelmed. I had so many questions in my head. What would it feel like? Would it hurt? I was worried about how it would change my life. Don was gentle and kind and I liked that he asked me questions, not Mommy. He told me what he was going to do before he did it and always made sure I was okay with what was happening. Don let me pick a tattoo for my brace. I picked butterflies! Most of the car ride home I cried. I told my mom I didn’t need a brace and that my body was healthy. My mom tried to comfort me. When I first got my brace it was so tight! My tummy wasn’t used to it; I itched and it was hard to sit down. After a few months I got used to wearing my brace. Now I wear it just fine for 21 to 23 hours each day. Even though wearing a brace can be frustrating I am glad my body is healthy and I can enjoy life!

It helps being around other kids that understand what I am going through. I am excited to be a Curvy Girls Leader so I can help other girls with scoliosis and encourage them to live a healthy life! If you would like to be part of our group you can contact me.