My name is Jess and I’m 13 years old. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12 on August 9, 2022. My top curve was 41 degrees and my bottom was 33.4 degrees. I underwent scoliosis surgery by Dr. Hey at Wake Med on November 28, 2022. It was a painful recovery but now being totally healed, I am ready to get back into doing gymnastics. I started gymnastics when I was five years old and competed both here in North Carolina, as well as in New Jersey. I am passionate about gymnastics and look forward to getting back on a team to compete. My favorite is doing the floor routine. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me to prepare myself to compete again both physically and mentally, as I still have to get used to the way my back feels now when I move.
I know that being a leader will help girls in the Wilmington and surrounding communities understand and receive the support they need as they go through the process of either surgery or bracing. This is a condition that many people are unfamiliar with and do not understand what it is like to be diagnosed. My peers were not always understanding and at times made harsh comments to me. It is important for others diagnosed with scoliosis to know that I have their back!