Napoleon Bonaparte is credited with using the phrase, “A good sketch is better than a long speech.” Some say a similar translation is a Chinese proverb and the popular, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is a modern American idiom. No matter where it came from or who said it first, there is a new example in scoliosis and art communities. SPINES, the Art of Scoliosis, illustrates beautifully a thousand high-fives, a thousand hugs, and a thousand friends walking with and supporting each other in their scoliosis journeys.
On Sunday, September 30th, I attended the book launch party for Sydnee Lubar’s photographic book SPINES. It was an afternoon full of emotion with proud parents, pleased doctors, and one incredibly thankful young woman for all of the people who helped her through her journey with scoliosis and book publishing. The energy in the room was buzzing with excitement as if it were the last day of school. Many of the models from the book attended and signed each other’s book as if it were a sort of yearbook; in one sense it is. Sydnee photographed women of all ages displaying their curvy backs, with braces and without, with scars from surgery and without. She told their stories, through both picture and text, of how they have become confident, courageous, and strong by joining a club they might not have joined by choice.
Our own Luke Stikeleather, Sydnee’s orthotist, wrote the forward for SPINES and was in attendance. The line to speak with him was full the entire afternoon. Luke took the time to speak with each person in his typically thoughtful and compassionate manner. He wrote words of encouragement in their books and gathered signatures as well. Luke closed the forward of SPINES with the following words, “Collectively, we can support them [the models] in actively advocating and raising awareness to the importance and need of early detection and treatment, which can effectively minimize the severity of scoliosis and its impact on the lives of those who have it.”
Joe O’Brien from National Scoliosis Foundation traveled from Boston to attend as well. The line to speak with him was just as long and full as Luke’s. Both gentlemen, who have a long, multi-decade relationship, gave quick speeches thanking various people and explaining the importance of early detection and treatment. To Sydnee, Luke, Joe, and most importantly to all of the scoliosis warriors, THANK YOU is simply not enough for all you do to support, encourage, advocate and educate!
All proceeds from the sales of SPINES will go to National Scoliosis Foundation.