On November 19, 2015 my life changed because of my diagnosis with scoliosis. I was told that my large curves of 49° thoracic and 44° lumbar would most likely not respond to bracing and that surgery was going to be inevitable. Tears welled in my eyes and a state of shock, confusion, and panic set in.
My parents and I immediately began researching alternative methods of treatment and discovered, with the help of Curvy Girls, the Rigo Cheneau brace and the Schroth Physical Therapy method. It became evident through reading the success stories of Curvy Girls who wore Rigo braces that Luke Stikeleather at National Scoliosis Center was the most esteemed and highly respected choice in the country.
Luke Stikeleather at National Scoliosis Center was the most esteemed and highly respected choice in the country.
The moment I met Luke, I was instantly put at ease about the overwhelming idea of wearing a brace. He made the experience as enjoyable as it could possibly be. Being included in the brace making process empowered me and allowed me to take back some control over what felt like a helpless situation.
In the next step of my journey I traveled to Stevens Point, Wisconsin to the Scoliosis Rehab Inc. for a two-week intensive period to learn and practice the Schroth Method. Upon completion of my training there, I was able to bring my knowledge home and continue my Schroth practice every day on my own.
I spent 23 hours per day in my brace for about 3.5 years and although I was not happy about my new circumstances at first, I truly came to love and appreciate my brace. After all, its sole purpose was to help me. It was not until I became involved in scoliosis organizations and put myself out there that I truly accepted my brace and realized just how many other people shared my experiences. This is when I began devoting time to helping others who were at the beginning of their journey. I am happy to say that at the end of my journey my hard work and diligence paid off as my curves were reduced and are in to the 20’s.
Currently, I am attending the University of Pittsburgh where I will be studying Rehabilitation Science. I plan to continue on to Orthotics & Prosthetics School so that I can pursue my passion of helping others who are diagnosed with scoliosis.