Dancing Through Scoliosis | Autumn’s Journey

Dancing Through Scoliosis | Autumn’s Journey Hi! My name is Autumn, and I am a 15-year-old ballerina with scoliosis. I was diagnosed at the age of 14 after my ballet teacher suspected that I might have scoliosis. After seeing an orthopedist, I was diagnosed with a moderately sized curve and was then was immediately fitted Read more about Dancing Through Scoliosis | Autumn’s Journey[…]

The Unknowns: Controllables vs Uncontrollables

The Unknowns: Controllables vs Uncontrollables Written by Annie Kramer At the age of 12, I was diagnosed with severe idiopathic scoliosis. Walking into a new school as a 6th grader had its challenges, especially with the additional challenge of my worsening spine. Before I knew it my doctors put me in a full-time hard shell Read more about The Unknowns: Controllables vs Uncontrollables[…]

Tips for Heading Back to School from Fellow Bracers

Tips for Heading Back to School We polled the scoli squad to help get you ready to go back to school with your scoliosis brace! We asked them about different topics, and here are their responses: “If you feel like you want to hide your brace, you can wear your pants/shorts over your brace, then Read more about Tips for Heading Back to School from Fellow Bracers[…]

Dancing Through Scoliosis

Dancing Through Scoliosis My name is Aika Takagi. I’m 13 years old. I wanted to share my scoliosis and dance journey. My scoliosis and dance journey are intertwined through my love for dance and pushing myself to do better in everything I do. When I was 11, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. Scoliosis is where Read more about Dancing Through Scoliosis[…]

Questions To Ask Your Orthotist

Questions To Ask Your Orthotist Being measured and fit with your brace can be an overwhelming experience for lots of new bracers. You may forget to ask questions or not know what to ask. We’ve got you covered! Here is a list of questions to get you started. Brace Type and Function Is bracing commonly Read more about Questions To Ask Your Orthotist[…]

Megan’s Scoli Journey in Malaysia

Megan’s Scoli Journey in Malaysia Hi, my name is Megan and I’m just a regular 16-year-old who lives in the south of Malaysia. I first found out I had scoliosis when I was 12/13-years-old when a doctor noticed I was standing a bit slouched. Fast forward half a year with all the appointments and chiropractor Read more about Megan’s Scoli Journey in Malaysia[…]

We’re In This Together

We’re In This Together: Creating A Support Network For Girls With Scoliosis Abby is 12 years old and was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2018. Shortly after, she was fit with her scoliosis brace at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland.  She and her mom, Christine, began looking to connect with fellow bracers around Abby’s age. Read more about We’re In This Together[…]

My Biggest Supporter

Aika’s Adventures: My Biggest Supporter My name is Aika. I was diagnosed with scoliosis a month after my 11th birthday. I was scared when I first heard but then was quickly relieved. My biggest supporter, my mother, is a scoliosis success story, although during her journey, she had days where she did not feel that Read more about My Biggest Supporter[…]

Four Years and Four Braces Later: Lily’s Bracing Journey

Four Years and Four Braces Later: Lily’s Bracing Journey Hi! My name is Lily and I am 13 years old and live in Sunriver, Oregon. When I was 9 and in 4th grade I was having a really hard time taking deep breaths so my mom brought me to the doctor. My mom has asthma and Read more about Four Years and Four Braces Later: Lily’s Bracing Journey[…]

Taking Care Of Your Mental Health

Taking Care Of Your Mental Health Growing up is tough. Growing up while wrapped in a giant scoliosis brace can be even tougher. We all know that bracing can be stressful, and we have research that supports this. Research has shown that bracing can lead to feelings of stress, anger, and shame, and bracers tend Read more about Taking Care Of Your Mental Health[…]

Fighting Scoliosis Together – Brooke’s Story

Fighting Scoliosis Together – Brooke’s Story Hi! My name is Brooke ,and I am 13 years old from Alberta, Canada. I was diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in May of 2018 when I was 11. I was sent to get an x-ray a few days later. At this point, I just felt extremely unlucky. I Read more about Fighting Scoliosis Together – Brooke’s Story[…]

Scoliosis brace COOKIE CUTTERS are now available!

Elizabeth's Scoliosis Story

I was told I had scoliosis on December 24, 2015. I was scared and sad and confused. I had no idea what this would mean. I heard the words, brace and surgery, but did not comprehend any of it.

I will say I was excited to get my first brace. Being 10, it was like a new adventure. My 5th grade class was so supportive. I wore it with honor. I showed them my x-rays, and the brace became "normal" for all of us. I wore it faithfully for over 22+ hours a day. Mom and I began Schroth Physical Therapy in Boulder at Avanti Therapy in February of 2016. For 2 months or so, we went down 3-4 times a week. Mom and dad bought a Swedish ladder and set up a "gym" in my room so I could do my exercises each day. Mom helped with the exercises too, as they sometimes got hard and or boring also became a member of Curvy Girls Scoliosis Foundation at this time. I was asked to be the Northern Colorado leader. We have a small group of girls that have scoliosis and try to meet once a month in order to encourage and support each other. I have also been able to attend Curvy Girls Conference for 2 years. Here over 150 girls from all over the world come to support and encourage each other on our journey with scoliosis. This is where I met a lady who supports kids like me with scoliosis. She has brought many smiles to so many with look-a-like braces for their stuffed animals or dolls, and custom artwork.

Curvy Girls has given me the opportunity to be able to speak at Zimmer-Biomet (a company that manufactures the hardware used in spinal surgeries), take part in a fashion show and fundraiser sponsored by Move the World Operations to raise money for Curvy Girls, and even be interviewed on TV regarding Curvy Girls and my scoliosis. I have also been able to meet Jamie Haggard (who is developing a new brace for scoliosis from Green Sun Medical, Dr. Vitale from Columbia University, and Michele Romano from Italy.

After the first year, in 2017 my x-rays showed my curves DECREASED! I got a new brace since I was growing. I continued with therapy and brace wearing. But now that I was in middle school, I was much more aware of how "weird and awkward" my brace was. There were many days I struggled with my self image, some people being mean and rude (even if they were "trying" to be funny) and limited movement in the brace.

The fall of 2017 I had a HUGE growth spurt, and by February of 2018 my x-rays revealed that my curves were being stubborn. They had increased, although not in a severe way. But by the fall of 2018, the surgeons saw that they had increased to possible surgical range. Mom, my PT and I discussed many options. Mom and I flew out to PA to visit doctors who are doing a non-fusion surgical approach to correcting the curves and rotation of my scoliosis. Mom sent the information off to insurance, but they denied any and all coverage claiming the surgery was experimental, due to the fact that the tether is not FDA approved (although Mayo Clinic in MN, Shriners in PA and many other doctors are doing the surgery with success.)

When this occurred I was devastated to have my health choices made for me by people who didn't even know me!!! This surgery no longer seemed an option. Mom, dad and I weren't sure if we wanted to pursue fusion quite yet. And the brace, oh the brace, was driving me crazy. I am in 8th grade now, and I just want to be "normal" without the brace as a focus of who I am. My friends and teachers and staff at Preston Middle School have been very supportive in accommodating me with this brace the past 3 years. I really thank all of them from the bottom of my heart.

So now, I continue to wear it, and do exercises and wait to see about insurance, money and what my aggressive curves will do.

Move the World Operations has graciously started a GoFundME page to try to pay for the surgery out of pocket. My local Curvy Girls group and I will also be a part of their fundraising this summer for a support walk and Fashion show and brunch to raise money for CURVY GIRLS in Denver area on June 30th!

Scoliosis will always be a part of my life. So many people have shown their love and support. I know my family and I just want the best possible outcome in this whole situation. And yes, we also want to make sure that God is given the glory and honor, no matter what direction my curves or this journey takes.

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