Tori’s Journey – Overcoming Scoliosis with Determination and Support

Success Stories:
Tori and Olympic medalist Bobby Finke
Tori had Olympic medalist Bobby Finke sign her brace in 2022.

Tori’s mom, Katie, recalls the moment when Tori’s physical therapist first noticed her daughter’s curve. It was the beginning of a journey that would test Tori’s strength and resilience, but also showcase her determination and the power of support.

After consulting with an orthopedist from Pediatric Specialists of Virginia, it was confirmed that Tori indeed had scoliosis. Initially, they decided to monitor the curve, but as time passed, it became clear that action was needed. The curve had progressed to the mid-20s fairly quickly, prompting the orthopedist to recommend bracing to prevent further curve progression.

Receiving her first custom Rigo Cheneau brace from our Certified Orthotist Kristian, Tori faced a new challenge. Despite the initial difficulty, she made the decision to “embrace the brace”, even wearing it to swim tournaments, camps, and other events (except in the water, as braces cannot go in water). Overcoming her insecurities, Tori even turned her brace into a unique memento, having Olympic athletes sign it — a gesture that filled her with encouragement.

As Tori navigated her journey with scoliosis, she found herself becoming a source of inspiration for others. Children and parents alike would inquire about her brace, some sharing their own experiences of being under watch or having worn braces themselves. Tori’s dedication and positive attitude left a lasting impression on those around her.

Today, Tori stands released from bracing, her curves stabilized in the mid-20s—no surgery required. She continues to pursue her passion for competitive swimming, grateful for what she has achieved. Throughout her experience, Tori remained steadfast in her commitment to making the brace work, wearing it consistently and as prescribed.

In reflecting on Tori’s journey, Katie expresses her gratitude, saying, “Thank you so much for all of your support throughout Tori’s bracing journey. Everyone at National Scoliosis Center was wonderful to work with over the past three years, and while it wasn’t always easy, you do an excellent job of explaining things at an age-appropriate level and providing encouragement and support to your patients. I will continue to recommend you all highly to anyone I know who may need bracing, and will always be grateful for everything you have done to help Tori.”

Kristian, Tori’s orthotist, also shares his thoughts: “Tori has done an amazing job with this. Her diligence and strength to persevere through this challenge has been 10/10 impressive. I’m very happy that she is finishing this and moving on. I wish you all the best and strongly believe that she will be successful in anything she sets her mind to. It’s been a pleasure working with you all.”

Tori’s journey serves as a testament to the power of determination and the importance of support. Her story is a reminder that with perseverance, anything is possible. We are all incredibly proud of Tori and the strength she has shown throughout her journey.