How my Spinal Fusion Journey Created my Personal Platform

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A middle school girl walked quietly through the halls, pieces of hair covering her face as she watched the floor pass beneath her feet. Books clutched to her chest acted as armor to protect her from the afflictive glares and tormenting words that constantly penetrated her skin and sank to the root of her dejection: scoliosis, fractured vertebrae, and a birth defect, all of which affected her body’s shape. For years, this was the world I lived in, and I am no longer ashamed to admit this girl is me. I never told anyone about that constant torment, and years later when I found myself explaining my past to others, the response I received was a typical “I am so sorry, but I was picked on too. I completely understand.” That statement never granted me comfort or otherwise brightened my spirits.

It was not until the fall of 2015, when I endured Spinal Fusion back surgery through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH), that I finally felt confident in my own skin. My pediatric orthopedic spinal surgeon provided me hope and freedom to live a happy, healthy, and practically normal life once more, and an opportunity to renounce a life that had seemed increasingly insignificant as time passed. For years, I had longed to improve my...

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