Statistically speaking, scoliosis affects approximately 2-3% of the population in this country. However, only a small percentage of those affected will require wearing a brace during their adolescence. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a child wearing a scoliosis brace to be the only one among their group of friends, and even their class or school. This can often leave children and adolescents feeling isolated and alone on their scoliosis journey. Fortunately, there are some brace wearers who are happy to help others diagnosed with scoliosis. Today we’d like to spotlight one of them.
Anna has been a long-term patient of ours. We first met Anna and her family shortly after she was diagnosed with scoliosis. At the time, Anna was 13 years old and in middle school. Today she’s a 16-year-old high school student. She has a heart for helping others, and plans to pursue a career in health care, ideally as a doctor. Anna has been skeletally mature for about a year now, and her scoliosis curve has stabilized in the low 20s, which is lower than before starting bracing. Her scoliosis journey has been successful as Anna was always diligent with her brace wear, and motivated to achieve the best outcomes. Even today, she still wears her brace at night!
From the beginning, we could tell Anna had many talents. Anna has always been an active child, and still plays soccer and swims on club teams. But she never let her scoliosis diagnosis prevent her from continuing her activities. Anna is also a people person, and loves meeting and talking with others. And not just in English! We were extremely impressed with her ability to speak Chinese, having had a short conversation with her in Mandarin during one of our appointments.
By combining her outgoing personality and her heart for helping others, it was only natural for her to mentor others who have been diagnosed with scoliosis. Since starting her own scoliosis journey, Anna has spoken with numerous kids in similar situations. Her conversations include giving advice about wearing a brace, sharing her own personal experiences, and generally encouraging others. These conversations and relationships help kids realize they’re not alone in their scoliosis journey. We encourage all of our patient to seek a peer mentor, either through finding getting in touch with another one of our patients, or through local and national organizations such as Curvy Girls.
Thank you, Anna, for all the ways you’ve helped out our scoliosis community! We’re so proud of how you’ve handled your own scoliosis journey, and then assisted others in theirs!