Danielle ---There are many words that come to mind when I think of scoliosis; pain, brace, curve, rotation, physiotherapy, doctors, x-rays, etc.

But perhaps the word which evokes the strongest connection is simply: me.

 

Scoliosis has been a part of my life since I was eight years old. It was my dance teacher who first noticed the imbalance of my hips and shoulders. Upon further examination at CHEO, the local children’s hospital, it was discovered that I had (approx.) a 10° curve in my spine, indicating idiopathic scoliosis. For the following five years, I would go to the hospital every six months for an x-ray. During that time, my curve fluctuated between 8° and 15°. Also, I started to get lower back pain at night. The doctors opted for a “wait and see” technique, and presented us solely with information about the Boston brace and surgery.

 

Seeking more options to treat my scoliosis, my mother did some research on the internet and found the flexible SpineCor brace. It appealed to me as the brace’s home page portrayed a ballerina wearing the SpineCor (ballet being one of my interests). I was fitted in Montreal with the brace in 2008, a few days after my 13th birthday.

 

During my first year in the SpineCor brace, we were satisfied, as far as how the results turned out. The brace had managed to maintain my right thoracic-lumbar curve at 22°.

 

The SpineCor stopped working for me the following year when my curve increased significantly to 42° in April 2010. We took immediate action and booked a flight to Barcelona in May 2010, where I was fitted with a rigid Rigo-Cheneau brace. Although the difference between a flexible and a rigid brace is immense, I’m proud to say that I wore my Rigo-Cheneau brace the entire first night, as well as the whole next morning until my appointment! No “getting used to” the pain - just confronting it head-on!

 

So here I am now, at sixteen years old, and I have been wearing my brace 23/7 for over a year. I still continue to do my Schroth exercises on a weekly basis, and hope to be able to switch to a nighttime brace this winter. Sure, scoliosis can be painful and frustrating, but it’s a part of me and will forever be and so I have accepted it. I strongly believe that optimism, determination and hard-work are the key factors which can ultimately lead anyone to achieve their goals. I love to perform on stage (singing, dancing and piano) and have recently participated in my high school’s musical theatre production.

 

Sports, like soccer, are so much fun, and reading and writing are my hobbies. I am so pleased to be starting the first Canadian Curvy Girls support group here in Ottawa with Juliana! Scoliosis is a disease that affects many different people from all over the world. I believe that creating this group will help girls with scoliosis here in Ottawa confront the difficulties of this disease knowing that they’re not alone, and knowing that they will always have a friend with whom to talk and to ask questions… but more importantly, a friend who truly understands.     

 

Summer --- Hi!  I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of eleven by my ballet teacher. I was a soldier in the Battle Scene of Nutcracker, and my teacher saw that I didn’t stand up as straight as the other girls. After rehearsal, she talked to my mom and told her that she suspected I had scoliosis because she, herself, also did.

 

The first orthopedist I went to told me that I had one 40 degree curve and that I would have to have surgery immediately. We were not even shown my x-rays! Thinking this was brash, my mom and dad took me to another orthopedist, who told us that I really had two curves. My thoracic curve was 27 degrees and my lumbar curve was 32 degrees. After gaining this knowledge, the next step was to find a brace. Internet research led my mom to find the SpineCor brace, which ended up making my curves worse in the long run, as the doctor never explained to us that it should not have been used on someone with my type and degree of curves. By the time I stopped wearing the SpineCor, which was ten months later, my thoracic curve was 36 degrees and my lumbar curve was 41 degrees, and I now had two additional minor curves with a Risser of 0.

 

Knowing we had to do something different, and quickly, my mom researched and discovered the LA Brace and Schroth Therapy. Since wearing the LA Brace by Gez Bowman and doing Schroth with Scoliosis Rehab, Inc., my two major curves have improved tremendously. My last x-ray in July 2012 done by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta showed my thoracic curve at 19 degrees and my lumbar curve at 16 degrees. The blithe feeling after I received that x-ray was indescribable.

 

As we are all more than our curves, I will also tell you a little bit about me that doesn’t involve scoliosis. My favorite things to do are ballet, sing, and work math (odd combination, I know). I have been taking ballet since I was three and have continued to the level where I am able to dance on pointe even with my scoliosis. Ballet has always been a wonderful stress reliever. Singing is also a newfound passion of mine. I constantly sing around the house, whether the song be the new Katy Perry or Taylor Swift single, or a song from a Broadway musical like “Oklahoma!” It depends upon my favorite song or mood of the moment. To learn technique, I take private voice lessons to help find “the perfect sound” as my teacher calls it. I have discovered through her that I have a three octave range which I am excited to develop.  Believe it or not, I actually am passionate about math which is my favorite subject!! There is nothing like mixing letters and numbers! As Lewis Carroll said, “The charm [of mathematics] lies chiefly in the absolute certainty of its results; for that is what, beyond all mental treasures, the human intellect craves for. Let us be sure of something! More light, more light!” I guess that is why scoliosis confounds us all because there is no certainty.

 

Join me in making a difference in our town!

 

Senior Curvy Leader

 

Hi, I’m Emily! I am 20 years old and from Summit. I've been with CGs since high school and continue as a leader while attending college. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was in the 6th grade, and shortly after that I was told I would need to wear a brace 16 hours a day. It didn’t bother me at first, but it eventually became too much for me to handle, and I rarely wore my brace. My doctor then told me that my brace was no longer going to hold my curve, so I could stop wearing it. 

 

Because my curve started to grow rapidly, 53’-63' in 3 months, Dr. Vitale at Columbia Presbyterian Children’s Hospital sent me for an MRI. I have muscle twitches from my scoliosis which made it hard for me to stay still during that procedure. I was diagnosed with Chiari I Malformation (cerebellum goes below the base of the skull and can cause pressure in the brain) and a syrinx (a cyst-like pocket of fluid in the spine). Luckily, neither was bad enough to require surgery.
 
In September of 2010, when my mom said that surgery was scheduled for January 19th, 2011, I panicked not knowing how I would ever be able to get through it. Then I remembered seeing Leah on the Teen Nick Halo Awards, and decided to find the group. My inbox was instantly flooded with supportive emails and that’s when I knew that I was going to love this group! I’ve been an active member of Curvy Girls ever since and with everyone’s support I was able to have my surgery. My thoracic curve is reduced to 22’, and I grew 2 inches! 
 
In 2011, I represented Curvy Girls on Radio Z100 with Skeery Jones!! I love helping people, so I look forward to expanding this group. I have been active in fundraising since 2010, from making and selling Duct Tape crafts to reaching out to  to our most recent Halloween Scoliosis Awareness Walk for CG International Convention. We have also sponsored a FOCOS patient, Emmanuella, a Curvy Girl just like us and in need of spinal fusion surgery. 

 

 

Merhaba, ismim Begüm ve 11 yaşındayım. Piano çalmak, dans etmek ve voleybol oynamak hobilerim. Ayrıca fotoğraf çekmek ve Go oynamakla ilgileniyorum.

 

Aralık 2014’de S kıvrımlı skolyoz tanısı aldım. Okulda 2 hafta süresince belinde ağrı olunca doktorum bizi Omurga Sağlığı Merkezi’ne yönlendirdi. Burada Dr. Ahmet Alanay skolyozun ne olduğunu ve tedavi için neler yapılabileceğini anlattı. Şimdi korse takıyor ve şirot egzersizleri yapıyorum.

 

Skolyoz farkındalığını arttırmak ve skolyozu olan kızlara destek ağı oluşturmak için Temmuz 2015’de Curvy Girls İstanbul grubunu kurduk. Şu an grubumuzda 15 Curvy Girls bulunmakta,daha fazla skolyozu olan kıza destek olmak için çalışmalar yapıyoruz.

 

 

 

Hello, my name is Begüm and I am 11 years old. I have hobbies including piano, dancing and volleyball. I am also interested in taking photos and playing Go, a traditional Chinese board game.

 

I was diagnosed with Scoliosis in the shape of an “S” curve on Dec. 2014. I had a lumbar pain for two weeks at school, so we went to my pediatrician for examination. He referred us to the “Health of Spine Center” where I met Dr. Alanay who diagnosed my scoliosis. At the beginning, I was so upset and scared but Dr. Alanay was so supportive and explained to me clearly what is scoliosis and the possible treatments. I was lucky, because my pain was not related to scoliosis but enabled us to diagnose the scoliosis at 34 degree curve. Now I am wearing a brace and doing Schroth Exercises. I hope these exercises and bracing will stop the scoliosis progression and my two curves will balance each other. At the beginning, it was hard to wear the brace; I felt like I couldn’t stand it but after 6 months the brace became familiar, like a part of my body.  

 

I worked with Dr. Alanay and Dr.Yilgör to prepare a video where I shared my experience about my journey with scoliosis for patient education. I want to raise scoliosis awareness and help the other brave and curvy girls to have a  better live with scoliosis.

 

 

 

Danielle ---I officially became a Curvy Girl three years ago when I joined the Missouri chapter, but my journey with scoliosis began when I was 7. I am now 17 and have had 2 surgeries and 2 years in a TLSO brace.  I was 7 when I went with my mom and sister for my sister’s orthopedic appointment and my mom noticed that I walked funny and had me bend over. When I bent over you could see the curvature of my spine! That’s when the appointment became mine too. We later found out that my curvature was worse then my sister’s (hers was 28 mine, was 32 at that time).

 

In 2 years time my curve went from 32 to 63 degrees! It was growing so rapidly that I then had my first surgery on June 15, 2009. I also had a brand new doctor who preformed both of my surgeries. My first doctor braced me and told me I had to wear my brace for 23 hours a day. Around the time of the surgery with the usual MRI’s, x-rays, and other tests, they found a pocket of fluid on my spine.  I had a type of Chari malformation. After the first surgery, my spine started curving and twisting below the rods to the point it hurt to walk. Three years later on January 21, 2013, I had my second spinal surgery and thoracotomy (they cut an inch out of 4 of my ribs to try to decrease the rib hump).

 

I wanted to become a Curvy Girls Leader to help and spread Leah’s idea of having a support system for girls with scoliosis. Outside of doing school activities and running the Missouri chapter I participate in a speech team, FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), a science club/future medical students, hang out with friends, and lastly, I love to cook and bake.

 

Hey everyone my name is Katie. I'm a dreamer living on Long Island, who happened to get diagnosed with Idiopathic Scoliosis in 2010 at the age of 12. I wore the infamous Boston Brace for 1-and-a-half years during the awkward stages of middle school. I joined the Curvy Girls because I felt alone and unable to see myself past the brace. I was shy at first but quickly broke out of my shell.
 
I'm proud to say that I have now made it through the chaotic journey of bracing and am stronger then ever. I believe that Curvy Girls is my gift of adversity. By being co-leader of the LI chapter, I want to show as many girls as I can that they are not alone. I also want to teach girls the power of self-confidence. 
 
I love crafting, science, Harry Potter, swimming, singing in the shower, the smell of freshly cut grass, the feel of fall, stuffing my face with freshly made chocolate chip cookies, light bouncing off my skin, the rush of the wind, and most of all just being me.

 

Hi! I’m Louise. I am 11 years old and I live in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

 
I found out I have scoliosis in September 2012. We were on holiday and my Mum noticed that one of my hips was higher than the other and I had been complaining about my hips and back hurting. When we got home, my Mum took me to see the doctor. The doctor said that I have scoliosis and sent me to see a specialist doctor called an Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon. I had xrays done and the doctor said that my curve was not too bad, as it was 22 degrees in the lumbar area at the bottom of my back. He said if it got worse quickly I would need a back brace. We went back 4 months later and the xrays showed that the curve was getting worse; it was 32 degrees. So I need a back brace. I have seen the Orthotist and am about to get my first brace. It is blue with pictures of dogs on it! The doctors all hope it will stop my curve getting worse.
 
My hobbies are reading, playing on my ipad and drawing. I love playing with my dogs and cats too!
 
My Mum found the Curvy Girls group on the web and I was really happy as I didn’t know anyone else who has scoliosis. My Mum had scoliosis as a teenager and wore a brace. I am so glad to be able to start up the Melbourne Curvy Girls. I hope to make lots of new friends and to help other girls who have scoliosis.

 

 

Sydney ---In August of 2010 I went for my 10-year-old checkup at the pediatrician.  I remember when she looked at my spine and told us that I should go to an orthopedic doctor to check for scoliosis. The xrays showed my top curve 24 and bottom 20. I needed to wear a brace 23 hours a day. We asked a lot of questions about gym, swimming, and school. I went for the brace fitting in late September. It felt awkward and strange getting molding while lying with my butt and head supported while the rest was in midair.  We went back to pick up the brace in October. I was really nervous about going to school and people making fun of me.  My mom and I went shopping for clothes that would hide the brace. 

 

At school, I talked to the guidance counselor about telling a few of my closest friends. After that, I picked one friend, Jenni, to be my assistant to help me in the bathroom. My mom looked for information online and found Sara’s group in Southern Md. We quickly learned about Leah and watched the TeenNick Halo Awards. 

 

 

 

Hi! ‪I'm Gianna. I like musical theatre, making friendship bracelets, and writing. When I was eight, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis. I had to wear a brace 23 hours a day to try to stop the progression of my curve. I couldn't find it in me to talk to my friends about my spine, as it made me feel different. When I was twelve, I found out that my curve had progressed significantly and that surgery was likely in my future. I tried the Schroth Method and a couple of different types of braces to see if anything worked. Nothing seemed to help. My back always hurt, I was tired and frustrated, and had never felt so alone. I reached out and found Curvy Girls. 

 

‪Walking into my first meeting, I felt understood for the first time in years. Girls in braces, girls that had gotten through bracing with relatively large curves, girls that had survived the surgery I feared. I began to talk to my friends about my Scoliosis. I learned how to speak up for myself and advocate for Scoliosis in general. I even won a grant from Keds to host the NJ Straight Walk With the Curvy Girls scoliosis awareness walk.  

 

‪In April, I found out that my growth plate had nearly closed and I only needed to wear my brace at night! My curve is still unstable, so I may need surgery, but I feel confident that I will get through what's left of my Scoliosis story with the support of the Curvy Girls. 

 

‪When our NJ Leader Emily asked me to step into a leadership position, I was honored! I have some big shoes to fill, but I want to pass on what Curvy Girls gave to me. No one should ever feel alone. Curvy Girls has become a safe place for me and I want to ensure that the next generation of Curvy Girls have that same support. 

 

My name is Keisha I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 11 years old. I only had a very little curve at that time. I was seeing a chiropractor until my condition got worse. Within a year and a half of the actual diagnosis, my curve was already 70 degrees. I met Dr. Jarvis at CHEO in July of 2011 and had my surgery on October 25th 2011. By that time, my curve was 90 degrees. I wasn’t scared of the surgery, as I had full faith in the doctors and nurses. I had no pain before the surgery, and that continued afterwards also. I went back to dancing ballet four months after. It felt good returning to my passion.

 

My hobbies are dancing, playing the piano and singing. I have an interest in sciences and at this moment I’m hoping to attend Ottawa University to become a psychiatrist.  I hope to help other young girls in their journey with scoliosis.

 

Hi, my name is Hope and I have scoliosis. I was diagnosed at about 11 years old during my middle school physical. First I was put into a night brace because my curve was approximately 20 degrees. About a year later the out of brace x-ray showed my top curve was 34 degrees and my lower one was 37. I wore a modified Boston Brace 16-18 hours a day for 2 years.

 

I dreaded each doctor's vist and HATED missing school because I had TONS of work to make up. Everyday before gym when I went to the nurse to take off my brace, I worried that people in my grade would see me. Trips to the mall became frustrating, so I created a clothing company for girls with scoliosis, hopescloset.com. We provide under and over the brace clothing.

 

In addition to wearing the brace I added Schroth physical therapy to my treatment. Once my growing slowed, I wore the brace at night for a year. Now I am 15 and my curves are around 30 degrees Because I am done growing, I no longer wear my brace.

 

Our support group helps us with our Scoliosis to feel more self-confident and less alone. Hope you can come to a meeting!

'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

 

Hi everyone my name is Rachel and I’m proud to say that I’ve been a Curvy Girl since day one. As all of you know dealing with scoliosis is not an easy journey, and most people think we’ll be fine with the support of our family and friends. However, our family and friends can only do so much. As much as they care, they don’t really understand what it’s like to wear a back brace for 16 to 23 hours a day. They don’t know how we silently worry at each doctor's visit as we wait to find out what our new x-rays will reveal, let alone what it’s like when your doctor tells you that surgery is something we need to discuss.

 

For me personally, being a Curvy Girl is not just about sharing the common curves in our spines, it’s about the unconditional support we are able to give to people we hardly know, yet feel unusually close to. So if you ever feel like there’s no one who understands, I’m here to say, that’s just not true . . . I understand, and so do all these girls in our support group.

 

Hi! My name is Alicia; I’m 14 years old, in grade 9. I first found out I had scoliosis around 2 years ago when I noticed a strange muscle lump in my back, and went to my family doctor to go check it out. She told me I probably had scoliosis, so we booked an x-ray to confirm it. The waiting list was super long, so in the meantime, I went to a physiotherapist who told me one of my legs was simply longer than the other which caused my back to be uneven. He gave me a block to put in my shoe and told me that it would solve all my problems, so I thought, wow what a simple solution! But after I got my x-ray, I learned that it wasn’t as simple as I first thought.

 

My first x-ray wasn’t that bad, so I didn’t do anything about it. But then my follow up x-ray, showed my curvature was significantly worse, and so Dr. Miyanji (the scoliosis specialist) recommended a night brace. I was pretty happy because it meant I didn’t need to wear my brace to school, which was a huge relief because I was just starting high school at the time. I also started to go to physio at the Scoliclinic where I learned a lot more about my spine, and met a lot of new friends who were all going through the same thing as me!

 

After 6 months of wearing the night brace, I took another x-ray which showed my spine was almost at 40 degrees! I was really sad that all the painful nights wearing the brace were all for nothing, and to make things worse, I had to get a day brace now. I knew a lot of people wore day braces, and after hearing about May May’s story about wearing it almost 24/7, I knew it wasn’t the end of the world. But my experience with the day brace was just so problematic that I often went to sleep crying. My brace was super uncomfortable, and it caused me so much back and rib pain that I once had to go to the E.R. because I couldn’t breathe. Even when we did manage to get it to fit a bit better, the in-brace x-rays showed that it wasn’t actually correcting my spine at all, so it had to be fixed again. After a few months of semi-wearing the brace, an x-ray showed that my bones have almost fully matured which brings me to today.

 

Throughout the past two years, I was able to meet, and talk to other people who had scoliosis too, and it really helped knowing that I wasn’t alone, and that other people have also dealt with the same problems. So, I want to help other girls who may be struggling through similar things that I did, and I’m super excited to share this amazing opportunity with one of the coolest people I know, May May.

Hey there! My name is May May and I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was in grade 9, 13 years old. I experienced back pain before I was diagnosed, maybe around the age of 11. At that time, I always blew it off and joked about it with my friends saying that I was just getting old. As I grew older, the back pain became more significant. Being an ignorant person myself, I still ignored it. Until one day I went to the physiotherapist because I sprained my ankle playing badminton and he told me that my legs were uneven.

 

Shortly after that, my physiotherapist told me I had scoliosis. I acted tough when I was talking to him, but once I got home, I broke down. I was so confused; I had no idea what it was. After recovering from my break down, I decided to do some research on this medical term that applied to me. That was such a bad idea. The first few picture searches are people who have severe scoliosis with a 100 degree curve. I broke down again. My parents were devastated as well which did not help me feel any better but rather much worse. I wasn’t “normal”. 

 

My parents took me to a chiropractor because the waiting time to get a meeting with the city’s scoliosis specialist, Dr Miyanji, was insanely long. My chiropractor told me I had a curve of 38 degrees and put me into a brace in about 2 months. My brace was from “Scolibrace” and I wore it full time (22 hours a day/ 7 days a week) for a year. The first two weeks were miserable, I felt so insecure and uncomfortable all the time. As time went by, it became easier as I told more and more people of my school and my back started to become comfortable with my brace. I was about finished growing so I was allowed to wear it only at night which made me so happy because I could finally wear anything I wanted! The bracing technique worked on me as after a year, I got an x ray which showed that my curve is now at 30 degrees. I’ve had so much experience with bracing and scoliosis and I would really love to be able to talk to anyone about it. I currently go to physio at the Scoliclinic. This is where I met a bunch of girlfriends who have went through the same as I did and we get to do exercise and corrective positions that help with our backs. The leader of the scoliclinic referenced Alicia and I to be the leaders of this organization and I could not be more thankful. I am so excited to talk to even more curvy girls and hear their stories!

 

My name is Trinity (people call me Noodle). I’m 12 years old and in 7th grade. I found out that I had Scoliosis in June of 2012. I was 10 turning 11 in September. When the doctor my mom that I had Scoliosis, I was confused. The doctor explained to me and my mom what Scoliosis was. The doctor said that my curve looked to be approx. 18 degrees, but we went and took x-rays just to check, we found out that I had 2 curves. It looked like a backwards S. The degrees were 42 on the top and 36 on the bottom. My mom was doing so much research and looking at so many different things about the surgery that she was practically scaring herself. I was just sitting back and not really worrying because I didn’t know what to expect or feel. Again, I was confused.

 

When we went to the brace doctor, he said that I needed to try to slow it down, stop it, or at least try to decrease it. The brace that was chosen for me was the TLSO brace or “Boston Brace.”  We found out that I could pick a design for the brace instead of it being plain and boring. When we got the brace it didn’t have any design on it, because the doctor forgot to add the design to the order. So, I left the office with the boring white brace till the correct one was reordered. The second brace finally came in and it had a really cool design on it. I loved it, well at least the design. I absolutely did not enjoy the brace. I was told I would have to wear the brace 12-16 hours a day, so I didn’t really have to wear it to school. Whenever I wore it out, like to the grocery store, people would always stare and look at me. It bothered me a lot when we were out, and when I wore my brace out my mom told me to wear a shirt over it, because it showed cleavage.

 

I always wore the brace to bed, but when I went to my friend’s house I hated bringing it and wearing it. As my friends would play and have fun I wasn’t able to because I had to wear that "thing.”

 

About September or October in 2013 I had an appointment for my back and the doctor did x-rays again and he said that even with the brace it had increased. My degrees increased to 50 on the top and 42 on the bottom. At that point my doctor and my parents started talking about surgery. Now I was really scared. I thought I have never had surgery like this before. I love playing softball and I was afraid that I was not going to be able to play anymore. Then the doctor said that you can do anything you want just have caution and be careful. I was so happy. I had surgery May 8th, 2014.

 

I love being a leader of the Curvy Girls. I love all the members.

 

 

 

Scoliosis only comes to the girls that can handle it.  Hi! My name is Izabela and I am fourteen years old. When I was eleven, I was diagnosed with partly severe scoliosis, in the shape of a “S” curve. At the time, my curves were in the range of the high forties to low thirties. I was sent to the local children’s hospital, Sick Kids, and there I got my first treatment: bracing. I wore a hard boston brace for twenty to twenty-two hours a day, in the span of one-and-a-half years. While I was bracing, I wanted to explore some other treatment options. I came across a chiropractor and scoliosis clinic. There I started to receive chiropractic treatment and I learned an exercise technique called the schroth method. This type of exercise uses body positioning and breathing techniques to try to improve scoliosis. I decided that the schroth method was not for me and I stopped that treatment. A few months later, I unfortunately was told that my curve increased to severe. My curvature is in the range of sixty-five to eighty. From that point on I stopped wearing my brace and was put on the waiting list for spinal fusion surgery. I will be having my surgery quite soon!

 

When I first found out about my scoliosis I was very upset and always questioned why I had to be the one to go through this. As I started to go through living life with scoliosis, I realized that scoliosis is a great, big journey: it may have it’s ups and downs, but it all falls into place in the end. I became less shy, more understanding and it made me be proud of myself. I have very supportive family and friends, so I am very glad for that. I want to take my experience and help other girls in my position throughout their scoliosis journey. I am very open to sharing my story and advise with others. I am glad to help anybody and raise awareness of scoliosis!

 

My name is Abby and I am 16 years old. I found out I had scoliosis when I was 11 years old. My curve was small, so it was nothing to worry about. When I was 14, I went to the doctor for my biannual checkup and found out that my curve had increased 30 degrees since the last time I visited the doctor. My doctor told me that I needed surgery. I had my surgery on November 30, 2015 at Cincinnati Children’s hospital. The surgery wasn’t easy, but I made it! Three months after my surgery, I played on my high school softball team and I ran cross country after that.

 

I am now one year post-op and I couldn’t be better. I am completely pain free and can do all the activities I would normally do!

 

 

Amelia --- My family discovered my scoliosis during my ten-year-old check-up at the local pediatrician when she noticed my shoulder blades were unaligned. After the initial diagnosis I was shuffled to and from various doctors, never quite sure of what was actually going on. Due to the severity of my spine's curves, I was put into a back brace-- a big, bulky, solid assortment of metal and plastic that seemed to rub me in every place possible. Nonetheless, I religiously wore it twenty-three hours a day, per my doctor's instructions. My classmates in Michigan were all very understanding and supportive, and after time a few forgot I wore a brace – I was even able to convince an especially arrogant young boy that I was stronger than he was with my "abs of steel." My comfortable childhood in the small Michigan town I grew up in was the perfect environment for me to wear a back brace while still maintaining a relatively normal childhood.

 

My childhood oasis quickly vanished as my family moved from Michigan to Houston, Texas. To say these two places are different is an understatement. The relentless Texas sun forced me to take off the sweatshirts that had covered up my brace, and I was placed in a frightening new world known as junior high. I became terribly shy. My scoliosis became a deeply personal issue; I turned to no one for comfort, leaving all of my concerns to swell up inside of me. Nevertheless, I managed and as time went on I grew along with my back braces. My new doctors fitted me in wonderfully smaller back braces that were much easier to conceal. Every three months we reported to the hospital for the tedious process of x-rays and doctor consultation. I became quite the expert at taking x-rays, donning the perfect attire and getting into the correct positions without any help from the specialist. I began to open up. Although I was never very comfortable with expressing my personal troubles to others, I understood the love and support I had in my family and friends.

 

Despite the augmentation of my emotional well-being, my physical well-being began to falter. During my freshman year my curves had gotten so out of hand that I was recommended for spinal fusion surgery. Like my ten-year-old self back when I was first diagnosed, I was confused. I had followed the doctors' orders exactly, yet my curves had gotten worse. Exasperation aside, I dealt with my impending surgery the same way I dealt with my entire scoliosis journey: silently and solemnly. With surgery scheduled for the summer before my sophomore year, my family and I desperately searched for some guidance in the months to come. The deus-ex-machina came in the form of a newspaper article about an international organization called Curvy Girls. With dozens of chapters across the globe, Curvy Girls is a scoliosis support group for young girls. I spent hours roaming their website's forums, amazed as I read the stories of hundreds of young girls just like me. Understanding firsthand the emotional toll that accompanies a scoliosis diagnosis, I decided to start my own group in Houston. After getting set up with the founders of Curvy Girls, I passed out flyers to pediatricians, doctors, and schools to try and get members. The first meeting was in May, about two months before my surgery.

 

Unfortunately, my progress as the Houston Curvy Girls leader was cut short as July 23, 2014 approached, the date of my surgery. With the aid of the very kind and practical advice I received from girls on the Curvy Girls website, I was as physically prepared as I could be. My mental state was a whole other story. The doctor’s assurances that “only 1% of patients have something go wrong” seemed proof that I had a significant chance of being in that 1%. On that fateful morning in July the last thing I felt as my vision began to blur was my heart beating rapidly, and then I went under.

 

Six hours later I awoke in a hospital bed feeling unbelievable stiff. My week in the hospital involved lots of sleeping, pain, medicine, and uncomfortableness, and my subsequent recovery at home was long and exhausting. My mom dragged my reluctant body out of bed every day for our daily walks in the brutal Texas sun. I missed summer marching band and the first four weeks of my sophomore year, which sounded like a blessing at first, until a tutor showed up at my door with a stack of homework. Even once I returned to school, I could not make it a full day before succumbing to a lack of energy and backaches. It was slow, but eventually I got back into the flow of things.

 

In December 2014, five months after I had my surgery, my mom and I sat in a hospital room where we received the news that the surgery had not been successful. My spine had begun to collapse below the fusion and I would need to have a second surgery. It seemed as though I was the only one not surprised. Some part of me knew, felt, that something was wrong before the words had left my surgeon’s lips. Despite this, I still felt the sting of her words and I spent months in anger and sadness. Nothing about my entire scoliosis journey had seemed fair; it was a never-ending cycle of hope and disappointment.

 

My time spent working for Curvy Girls cured me of my uncharacteristic pessimism. We had more meetings, spent working on various projects to help scoliosis patients. I saw myself as something more than just a scoliosis patient: a role model for the younger girls to look up to. I was determined to fight. With the experience of my first surgery behind me, I was resolute in making my second surgery smoother than the first. I pushed myself after the eight-hour procedure, spending more time walking, sitting, and moving during the recovery. I had taken control of the scoliosis that had governed my every move for the last five years.

 

Today I sit tall, over a year after my second and successful surgery. Today I participate in all of my normal activities, working the body that once limited me. Today I still meet with the Curvy Girls, discovering new ones each day who are just beginning their journey. Today I look back over the years I spent hiding, surrendering, cowering in my back brace, and see how I’ve grown into the confident young woman writing my profile. Today I stand proud to be a scoliosis patient.

 

 

Hi there! I'm Hannah and have been leader of the Ontario group for the past 4 years. I will be going to Univeristy in the Fall.At age 13, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis with a 57 degree curve. At age 14, I had the surgery on my spine to correct the curve and have been great ever since!  Curvy Girls has taught me how to be strong when dealing with Scoliosis and I hope you feel the same way!

 

Hi!  My name is Julia D. I am 15 and have been with the Curvy Girls since 2010. I was diagnosed with Scoliosis when I was 8 years old. When I found out I had Scoliosis, I already had a 55 degree curve and got my first brace.  I found out I would need surgery to correct the curve in my spine.  I was really scared, but then I heard Leah's story!  I asked my mom to help me contact Leah so I could ask to start my own group. Immediately, we contacted Leah and her Mom, Robin. They told me how to get my group started.

 

At my first group meeting, I only had 3 members, but by the end of that year, I had 5 more members!  Our group has grown and grown!  We held "Rock the Curve", a Walk for Scoliosis and raised awareness and money for our group to attend the first convention. We want to make sure no girl with Scoliosis ever has to feel alone! 

 

Scoliosis has taught me not to run away from problems in my life. I have learned to stand up to things that are scary or hard to understand. Guess what? They all get easier the more you know!  It's so awesome to know I am not alone!  Thank you to Leah, Robin, and all my Curvy Friends! So, if you read this and would like to join Curvy Girls of Illinois, email us. 

 

Hi, my name is Chloe and I am 15 years old. In the beginning of 2012 my Mom noticed that my shoulders were hunched and that I was starting to have what appeared to be poor posture. Up until August 2012 we just brushed it off, assuming I was just getting in the habit of slouching. But when I began training for Cross-Country with my high school team, one of my coaches approached my mom and told her that I ran with my body tilted to the side. When I went to my sports physical a few weeks later, my mom asked the doctor to take a look at my back and he then recommended that we schedule an appointment with a spine specialist to have my back further examined. I also visited my pediatrician who told me that I had scoliosis and that I would need x-rays and an appointment at Boston Children’s Hospital.

 

In October I went to my first scoliosis appointment. My scoliosis doctor told me I had an S curve. The upper curve was 18 degrees. I was told then that I would have to continue to be X-Rayed and checked every 4-6 months. In January my upper curve increased to 24 degrees. I was told that they started bracing at 25. My mom was a little reluctant to not begin bracing at that time but the doctor said there was no need. When my April appointment occurred, the results of the X-Ray came back showing my upper curve had increased to 32 degrees. I needed a brace! I was sent down to the NOPCO brace shop where they measured me for my new brace. I picked a flesh color so that it would not show as much under clothing.

 

At first wearing the brace was so incredibly difficult and hard on my body that I would count down the minutes until I could take it off. Eventually I became used to it and most of the time I forget I even have it on. I now wear it 18-21 hours a day. Some days are harder then others; my back becomes really sore, and my muscles are tighter than before. So in order to improve my flexibility, my mom and I decided that I would start Pilates and yoga to strengthen my core and stretch. My doctor also advised me to start lap swimming. Interestingly enough, swimming laps counts as “out of brace” time!

 

In June of 2013, I heard about the Curvy Girls website from the Nordstrom Fashion Show for girls with scoliosis, so my parents and I then went on and read about the support groups. I looked for a New Hampshire group, but when I didn’t find one I instantly became interested in creating one. I am so excited to be the New Hampshire Curvy Girl leader! I want to be able to support other girls with scoliosis and to be able to raise awareness of scoliosis. I hope that I can help other girls, like me, learn to emBRACE the curve!

 

Hi, my name is Paige. I am 11 years old. I live in the Central Valley of California. I was diagnosed with scoliosis in December of 2014. Today I am being treated at Shriner’s Hospital of Northern California in Sacramento. In August of 2015 my curve progressed to 24.9 degrees, so my doctor braced me. I currently wear a TLSO brace for 18 hours a day. In March of 2016 I had a follow-up visit with my doctor. I received the best news ever. My doctor said that my brace was working. My spine was completely straight. But the doctor also stated I needed to continue wearing my brace due to the fact that I am still growing.

 

One of my favorite things to do is sing. I love to sing when I am going through rough times. It helps me feel better. I want to be a Curvy Girls Leader because I want to let other girls with scoliosis know that everything will be alright. Also, to let them know I will always be there for them on their journey.

 

Hi. My name is Dani. I was diagnosed with scoliosis in the 4th grade by my mom. She recognized my uneven shoulders as being a sign of scoliosis. Over the next 3 years I had a variety of treatments, starting with chiropractic, moving to soft bracing, and then into a hard brace. Finally, my curve had progressed to the point that surgery was necessary (beginning curve in 4th grade was 35°; ending curve in 7th grade was 58°).

 

I had spinal fusion surgery December 19, 2013.  I never let scoliosis keep me from doing what I love most: playing basketball! I was on my school’s 6th & 7th grade team this past year. Scoliosis did NOT stop me from playing my best! I want to be a Curvy Girls leader so I can meet other girls in my area who also have scoliosis. I feel that we could help each other deal with the difficulties of having scoliosis.  Today I feel GREAT! I’m straight, taller, and most importantly, pain free.

 

Hi! My name is Lexi and I’m 15 years old. I was first diagnosed with scoliosis in 2011 when I was 11, by my pediatrician, with about a 20-25 degree curve. From there we got 2 opinions, one doctor said a night brace while the other said we could do the wait and see approach. So naturally we went with the doc who said lets wait. After the 4 months we went back and my curve had gotten a little bit worse. We also found out I now had 3 curves not one! The doctor suggested a ScoliScore test. The results showed that my curves were in the lowest percentage of getting worse, so we held off on bracing and did chiropractic care. 

 

My curves jumped 10 degrees in a matter of months. I now had curves of approximately 25, 30 and 20. I ended up getting a Boston brace in August of 2012 and wore it 22 hours a day, everyday. Then we went back and the curves had all gotten worse, 30, 36 and 25. The doctor told us that this brace won’t really do that much and maybe a Milwaukee brace or surgery. We were very confused, so we decided to get a second opinion on my situation. 

 

That’s when I got another doctor who gave me the Lyon brace in April of 2013. At this time, I also started Scroth physical therapy. Again, I wore that brace everyday for almost 22 hours. We went back every 4 months and still my curves weren't doing too well.

 

Then I moved to Florida and met with 2 more doctors. One said stop bracing during the day and eventually get surgery and the other doc said surgery within 6 months. At this point my in brace curves were about 30, 42, 25 but out of brace were 39, 54, 35.  My parents and I decided  that it was time for surgery. My surgery was set for May 27, 2014.

 

My surgery was a huge success; my recovery went very smoothly and rather quickly. Even though surgery was challenging and scary, it was a truly amazing experience. 

 

I wanted to become a leader to help and inspire others, also while giving and receiving support. I want to turn my negative experiences into positive ones, as well as all the girls in the group. Scoliosis affects us all differently, but we know exactly how each other feels.

 

Hi, I'm Emi and I am 13 years old and I am the leader of the Cornwall England group. I love sailing, cadets, field hockey, drama and music! I want to be in the navy when I am older or I would like to be an interior designer. I am from Cornwall in England. I was diagnosed with scoliosis around October 2013 and since then I have found out that I have 2 curves in my spine, one at the top and one at the bottom. In England it is rare that they brace scoliosis patients and from looking at my x rays after they were first taken, the curves didn't look extreme yet they didn't look mild, so I don't know whether I will have surgery or be braced or not yet. My doctor still hasn't filed the report on my x rays so I have no idea what degrees they are yet.  

 

I found Curvy Girls on Facebook and remember posting on the page “I wish this existed in England.” Some of the girls commented that I should start up my own group so I did! (with a lot of help from Robin obviously ;) ) One thing that worries me about having scoliosis is whether I would be able to get into the navy. This upsets me because it is one of my dreams but even though I haven't been with Curvy Girls that long yet just being able to talk to the other girls has helped me and I have certainly been inspired by Leah, Robin and all the other leaders and members of Curvy Girls. I can't wait to be able to inspire and help other girls just as I have been myself. :)

 

Hi my name is Sheridan and I am 14 years old. My family includes my mom, dad, 2 brothers, a sister, 2 rat terrier dogs named Ditto and Blue. I also have two hermit crabs named Dweeble and Turnip. I like to draw a lot on the computer or on paper as well.  I also like to sing, act, read and hang out with my friends.

 

I have known about my scoliosis for 4 months and I am wearing a brace. I don’t mind wearing the brace but at night it always bugs me. My mom was the one who found the scoliosis. She was giving me a hug on Thanksgiving and she felt a bump on my back. We went to the orthopedic doctor and they took x-rays. The bump my mom felt on my back was my twisted vertebrae and the doctor showed me the x-rays and curves in my back.

 

I am so excited to be starting a Curvy Girls' group here in Minnesota and look forward to meeting other girls who are sharing similar experiences.

 

Hi! My name is Mara, and I’m 15. I have a 30 degree curve, and a Providence nighttime brace. When I first joined Curvy Girls, I felt alone and confused. But after getting to know everyone, it turns out that I’m not so different. They gave me advice, and were always there for me when I felt down. Getting used to a brace or facing surgery is never a fun experience. And often, it feels a lot easier to just give up. But the Curvy Girls helped me to realize that if we can tackle this, we can tackle pretty much anything. Scoliosis is only burdened on those who are strong enough to handle it.

 

“Live in the now and not in the tomorrow, because every moment without worry is a moment of joy.”-Mara B!

 

My name is Ciara and I’m 17 years old. I’m an Irish dancer and a Girl Scout.

I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 13. My curves at the time were 55 on top and about 20 on the bottom. At first I wore a Boston brace, but that wasn’t helping my curve so I switched to a Rigo brace.  During all of this I was also featured in an award winning documentary called  “The Back Story."  It won best short documentarya film festival and was nominated for most inspirational at the Orlando film festival.

 

Since my curve was so large, the brace was only effective in holding it for a little while. Right before surgery, my curve was at 68 degrees. On July 18th, 2017 I got spinal fusion surgery. It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever been through, but I’m ultimately so glad I did it. Now I can breathe so much easier and I don’t have to worry about my back.

 

I’ve been a CG leader for over 4 years now and it has been such a wonderful experience. I love helping out other girls just like me and letting them know they are not alone. 

 

Hi everyone, I’m Brielle! I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 5 years old and braced 6 months later. I wore a brace for 8 years and even gave the Schroth Method a try. At 13 years old I had Spinal Fusion surgery. I joined the Long Island chapter of Curvy Girls when I was 7 years old, in 2007. Being so young and antsy, the meetings were fun, but difficult for me. All I could focus on was wanting to play with Squirt the pup (the Stoltz family dog) in the backyard and the yummy cream cheese bagels at every meeting. I have been a part of the Curvy Girls ever since and thanks to them I have been able to overcome any difficulty that Scoliosis brought my way.

 

Curvy Girls has provided me with lifelong friendships and the most rewarding feeling of giving back. I am proud to say that since I joined Curvy Girls I have become more of a leader, more outgoing and more compassionate. These qualities I have gained helped me get into RYLA- a selective Leadership Conference held on Long Island-and even allowed me to be voted Ms. RYLA by my other RYLA peers. 

 

Things I Love--- the feeling of helping others, to laugh, to play soccer and basketball, random dance parties, to crack jokes left and right, to compliment strangers, adding humor into the crazy journey of Scoliosis, to eat sushi with my BFF Robin Stoltz, to pull pranks (watch out!), to see big smiles on others, spontaneous ukulele and guitar jam sessions, and seeing all of my Curvy friends from around the world. 

 

Scoliosis may not be life threatening, but it certainly is life changing. This curvy road has been extremely difficult, but worth it and I wouldn’t take any of it back if I could.

 

Emily Senior Curvy Leader 2011

My name is Emily and I have scoliosis! I have been a CG leader since 2011. I was 14 when i started with Curvy Girls after watching the TeenNick HALO AWARDS. I was so surprised to see a girl (as I didn’t know Leah’s name at first) that had scoliosis. I saw she had started a support group in her state for girls just like her. Before that I thought I was one of only a few people that had scoliosis.

 

My mother has scoliosis and so the doctor decided that at age 7, they would start doing regular check ups for me. At age 11, I was sent to Shriner's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri when my curves started progressing worse and I was put in my first of four back braces. My curve at the time was about 30 degrees on top and 25 on bottom. From 8th grade to half way through my senior year, I wore a back brace 23 hours a day, 7 days a week. I struggled a lot with wearing the brace the entire time. Through the help and encouragement of friends and family and especially those in the Curvy Girls, I never stopped wearing my brace and on November 28, 2012, I found out I could stop wearing it all together. My curves were 45 degrees and 15 degrees. I had stopped growing and therefore the brace wouldn't help anymore. As of today, after two years of being without the brace, my curves are 50 degrees. I do deal with some back pain, but I'm working with my doctors to deal with that pain and I'm still being observed by Shriner's for the next few years to make sure my spine does not progress further. I'm so thankful for the Curvy Girls and all they've done for me! Without them, I would of had to have the surgery years ago. 

 

I consider Leah Stoltz my hero for showing me that I can have scoliosis without feeling weird, unusual, and embarrassed. I am proud to stand up and say I’m Emily Campbell and I have scoliosis and am proud of it! I am ready to share my story with others and help them answer any questions or problems they have because of scoliosis!

 

Ella Vancouver. I was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2009 when I was 12 and in grade 8. My diagnosis came as a bit of a surprise because I didn’t have symptoms and no one in my family noticed my slowly progressing scoliosis. Matter of fact, it might have gone undetected if it wasn’t for my horseback riding coach who noticed my shoulders were uneven when my horse wasn't jumping as nicely. I guess my unevenness set my horse off balance.  We went to the physiotherapist to see why my shoulders were uneven and that was when I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I did a physio for a while but didn't continue because I couldn't even tell I had it. All I knew about scoliosis at the time was that my spine was curved; I didn’t know it could get worse. Had I known, I wouldn't have stopped the physio. It wasn’t until my riding coach saw what seemed like an increase of unevenness in my shoulders that I started to worry a bit.  My mum and dad brought me to a local family doctor who ordered x-rays and the visit to an orthopedic surgeon. Because we only have two specialists at Vancouver Children’s Hospital, it took ten and a half months to get an appointment. I didn't mind waiting because I thought my curve was small. During that time, I did nothing to help my spine other than Pilates because we heard it helped. About a month before my orthopedic appointment, I became curious and asked to see the radiologist report and x-rays. That's when I found out I had a 35° curve! During that last month, I had begun experiencing pain and discomfort in my back. Since my appointment was coming up, we didn't do anything and waited to hear what the orthopedist would say.Dr. Miyanji's office at BC Children's Hospital, took new x-rays that showed my curve at 63°. The radiologist report of my previous x-rays said I had a 35 degree curve. He thought the curve looked to big to be 35° so he re-measured the original x-rays. Sure enough, my curves had actually been 55° not the 35° stated in the radiologist’s report!My parents and I were SO shocked when we were told that the only treatment at this point would be surgery; I broke down in the office. I couldn't believe it! I had barely known about scoliosis and now this! I thought I would be starting treatment like bracing but to be suddenly told that I was going to be getting surgery was too big of a blow for me to handle. Dr. Miyanji explained everything that I needed to know about scoliosis. At home, I went on a researching spree and spoke with lots of family members. One of the phone calls was with my uncle whose 3 kids have scoliosis (2 were braced). My uncle, who lives in Ottawa, had seen Curvy Leaders Danielle and Juliana on TV talking about scoliosis and Curvy Girls, so I reached out to the Curvy Girls Ottawa group.  I am an active athlete and I do not let scoliosis stop me. Some days I have to take it easy or take a break but I don't let that discourage me at all. I think to myself that other people have things that they have to deal with, and like the site says, this is mine. Sometimes I have to alter the way I do the sports like with my passion of horse back riding. I love horseback riding! Having such a trusting bond with such a big creature and being able to communicate through movements is what attracts me to this sport. I have to pull my left hip back and open my shoulders and that usually helps center me for riding. I have a horse and her name is Latte. She herself is "crooked." She has troubles bending to the left and I have trouble bending to the right so we help each other out when it comes to balance. My other sport I am very passionate about is skiing. I grew up skiing and my whole family skied when they were younger. I only have problems with balance so all I have to do is shift my weight around when it comes to freestyle and stick my leg out a bit farther for support in giant slalom racing. I knew no one else in my small town with scoliosis so speaking with other Curvy Girls has helped me a lot. We need to have a group in our area of western Canada where girls and families can be educated about scoliosis and won’t have to be taken by surprise as I had been. I look forward to talking to my school about the importance of doing school screenings to detect scoliosis early.

 

My name is Danielle and I live in the Central Illinois area. I was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2012, right when I was about to start sixth grade. At the time my curves were 25 on the top and 19 on the bottom. My doctor decided to brace me when my degrees increased to 31 and 25 over the course of a few months. I got my brace in January of 2013 and had to wear it 16-18 hours a day.

 

Wearing a plastic contraption everywhere was a huge adjustment. I had to change a lot of my wardrobe and find new ways to accomplish simple tasks like tying my shoes or picking something up. But the longer I wore the brace, the easier it got. Thankfully, bracing worked and my doctors started weaning me off of the brace during the spring of 2015.  In December of 2015, my doctor told me I didn't have to wear my brace anymore, but I still try to do physical therapy exercises to strengthen by back.

 

My hobbies include writing, reading, spending time with my family, and listening to music. I'm an avid French horn player, and I spend a lot of time practicing and performing. 

 

 

Hi my name is Sheridan and I am 14 years old. My family includes my mom, dad, 2 brothers, a sister, 2 rat terrier dogs named Ditto and Blue. I also have two hermit crabs named Dweeble and Turnip. I like to draw a lot on the computer or on paper as well.  I also like to sing, act, read and hang out with my friends.

 

I have known about my scoliosis for 4 months and I am wearing a brace. I don’t mind wearing the brace but at night it always bugs me. My mom was the one who found the scoliosis. She was giving me a hug on Thanksgiving and she felt a bump on my back. We went to the orthopedic doctor and they took x-rays. The bump my mom felt on my back was my twisted vertebrae and the doctor showed me the x-rays and curves in my back.

 

I am so excited to be starting a Curvy Girls' group here in Minnesota and look forward to meeting other girls who are sharing similar experiences.

 

My name is Gemma. I am 20 years old and this is my scoliosis story.  I'm from Wellington, Australia and currently living in Sydney, Australia. When I was 16 years old, I was constantly complaining to my mum about back pain. "Mum my back is so sore!" This happened for about three months and then I had to go to the doctors for a check up. The doctor lifted up my shirt and said "Wow you have scoliosis!" From there on, I had multiple X-Rays and MRI scans. Living 6 hours via cartrip to Sydney, it meant a lot of travelling to see a surgeon. He highly advised me to have surgery. I wanted it because I knew I needed to have it but I was so scared and nervous. A few months later I had surgery.

 

It feels like just yesterday, even though it was in 2012. Recovery was hard. I'm so glad that I became good friends with the girl whom I shared a room with that also had scoliosis surgery. During our time in the hospital, we supported each other and this continued throughout recovery. We still talk from time to time. I loved being able to text her after a very long day back at school and talk to someone who was going through the same thing as I was. This is why I am a part of Curvy Girls. To meet other girls who have been through what I have been through, to support, encourage and empower girls just like you!

 

My name is Trinity and I am 14 years old. I live in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 9 years old. I got my Boston Brace June 18, 2013 after my curve started to change. I wear my brace for 20 hours a day. I am excited and honored to be a CG leader of Washington State and to help all of you with your needs and for you not to feel alone.

 

Our group has fun and relaxed meetings, we talk, ask questions and learn new things every time! We also meet once every month. At our group meetings we play games that are scoliosis related activities and express ourselves in ways we can't with other people.

 

My name is Nicole and I am 13 years old. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 10 years old. I wasn’t feeling well, so my mom took me to the clinic to have chest x-rays for pneumonia. When the doctor saw the x-rays he noticed that my spine wasn’t straight and diagnosed me with scoliosis. Later, I visited an orthopedic surgeon who told me I had to wear a Boston brace for 16 hours a day. At first, I thought that wearing a brace wouldn’t be a big deal, but I soon realized how difficult it could be. At school, wearing my brace was tough because I couldn’t do the same things as my friends and I didn’t want to be different. I sometimes felt left out of certain activities that I couldn’t participate in while wearing my brace.

 

When my family found the Curvy Girls website I was excited to hear what other girls with scoliosis have to say and to share some of my own thoughts. Eventually, I became the leader of Curvy Girls San Antonio. I wanted to help other girls with scoliosis, and this was a great way to do that! My family moved to Louisiana a little while after starting the Texas chapter, and I wanted to try and start another one at our new home, too. 

 

X-rays taken by my new orthopedic surgeon showed that my back had gotten several degrees worse during the move and that I would now have to wear my brace for 23 hours a day instead of just 16, which was already hard enough for me. But when we returned for my next appointment, my thoracic curve had reached the forties and my cervical, a difficult place to operate, was almost there, too. In order to avoid a more complicated surgery on my neck area, on September 21st, 2014, I was fused from T1 to T6.

 

I look forward to helping other girls with scoliosis find their voices and embrace their scoliosis. Remember, you are not alone!

 

My name is Trinity and I am 14 years old. I live in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 9 years old. I got my Boston Brace June 18, 2013 after my curve started to change. I wear my brace for 20 hours a day.

 
I am excited and honored to be a CG leader of Washington State and to help all of you with your needs and for you not to feel alone.

 

Our group has fun and relaxed meetings, we talk, ask questions and learn new things every time! We also meet once every month. At our group meetings we play games that are scoliosis related activities and express ourselves in ways we can't with other people.

 

My name is Nicole and I am from Brooklyn, New York. My scoliosis journey began when I was diagnosed at 13. Prior to the diagnosis, I was a professional ballroom dancer, and several physicians told me that I would have to quit my passion in order to derive the optimal benefits from the various treatments and bracing options I was using. However, I could not imagine quitting my favorite hobby, so I decided to simultaneously pursue my ballroom dance career, school, and scoliosis treatment to the best of my ability.

 

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve tried several different treatments for my stubborn S-curve, including bracing with Rigo Cheneau and SpineCor, CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment, and Schroth Physical Therapy. A few years after my diagnosis, I was ranked top five at the United States National DanceSport Championships, and was able to maintain my spine in a stable condition in the years leading up to this result. Throughout the toughest parts of my scoliosis journey, the support of friends and family was critical to my success. However, I felt the need to connect with other girls with scoliosis who could directly relate to my experience, which led me to discover CurvyGirls.

 

Being a Curvy Girls Leader in Brooklyn is an exciting opportunity to create a support system and community for other girls in Brooklyn who are embarking on or experiencing the scoliosis journey. One of the most important things about dealing with scoliosis is to eventually learn how to incorporate it as a positive aspect of your identity, which may seem like an impossible challenge after growing accustomed to fighting it for so many years. However, once you can see scoliosis more as a human variation, you can be more at peace with your body and open yourself up to see the ways it has also positively impacted your life. I’m excited to have the opportunity to spread this message across the Curvy Girls community and learn from the experiences of other Curvy Girls!

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