Saturday 29th June marks the first International Scoliosis Awareness Day. So why am I blogging about it? Because June also marks 9 years since I had corrective surgery for scoliosis! Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine, which can be extremely physically deforming and if left untreated can affect internal organs and pose serious health risks.
To raise awareness I decided to have my back photographed (a daunting process) to show my scarring and the way scoliosis has affected my body. I also wanted to shed light on the fact that although scoliosis can be incredibly debilating, I've not let it stop me from continuing with my career and achieiving my goals.
I'm not meaning to sound cheesy here but seriously, being diagnosed at the age of 14 and having major spinal surgery at just 15 is pretty scary. At the time I didn't know how it would affect the rest of my life or what it would stop me from doing so to be 9 years on and able to say I'm doing what I love for my career.. well, that's pretty ace in my book.
I wanted this post and the photos I had taken to be of use, and even comfort, to those who have been diagnosed, had the operation or the famiies of those involved. I know at 15 I would've appreciated speaking to someone 10 years down the line to find out how they live with scoliosis.
For more information on scoliosis or if you need help and advice, I can't recommend SAUK (Scoliosis Association UK) enough. Visit their website, tweet at them or check them out on Facebook.