SWEETWATER COUNTY — Emily was 11-years-old and dealing with the challenges of having scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, so she contacted the founder of the International Curvy Girls Scoliosis Support Groups to start a chapter in her town. Because of her experience, she wants to help other girls dealing with this condition. Emily first started a group in Oklahoma before she moved to Wyoming.
Curvy Girls brings girls ages 8-18 together to raise awareness and support one another at monthly meetings, hospital visits, and brace-wear shopping trips. Because teens with scoliosis typically feel self-conscious about their appearance, and because they often have to wear a hard plastic torso brace up to 23 hours a day, they tend to isolate and may experience depression. Peer-support groups provide an important opportunity to share concerns and information.
Curvy Girls of Southwest Wyoming will become a chapter of international groups started in 2006 by then 14-year-old Leah Stoltz of Long Island, N.Y. Since being featured on national television’s TeenNick HALO (Helping and Leading Others) Awards Show in 2009, Curvy Girls has grown to 90 chapters around the world. Most recently Curvy Girls was featured with Victoria Secret model Martha Hunt in TeenVogue.com.
Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is a medical condition of unknown cause in which a preteen/teen has an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. On an x-ray, the spine of an individual with a scoliosis may look more like an “S” or a “C” than a straight line. Conventional treatment is through bracing and/or surgery. Scoliosis progresses 10 times more frequently in girls than boys, and some girls have to wear a hard plastic torso brace for up to 23 hours a day. In an attempt to halt curve progression and avoid spine surgery, bracing is continued throughout the growing years.
“Scoliosis affects us both physically and mentally – while the back brace supports our bodies, Curvy Girls is our emotional brace,” says Founder, Leah Stoltz. “We need to help our girls feel better about themselves from the inside out.”
Emily welcomes girls with scoliosis to contact her so that together they can continue to make a difference. Visit www.CurvyGirlsScoliosis.com and learn more about Emily and Curvy Girls of Southwest Wyoming.