Growing up you never imagine having a defect to your body, you don't imagine having cancer or being burned in a fire one day. We live our life hoping for the best of days. The realization is that in life there will be the best of days and there will be the worst of days...
When I was in 6th grade I found out I had an 11-degree curvature to my spine, I had scoliosis. When the nurse found out I had scoliosis she sent a letter home to my mom. My family and I were uncertain and scared. We didn't know what scoliosis was or how it started. We then started going to the doctor every year after that to get my back checked. I had to do CT scans and MRI's. A few years passed and it had only gotten worse, a lot worse. It was now at 54 degrees. I had been seeing a doctor out of Pensacola, FL where I lived. Being that I was young I was very picky with who my surgeon was going to be. A few years went by and I put off having surgery. I had lost hope. My back was only getting worse, I was crooked now.
It wasn't until I started being made fun of about my back that made me want to have the surgery. I wanted to be straight. When I found out I had scoliosis no one knew. As it got worse and worse people were starting to notice that something was different about my back. People started calling me "crooked" and making fun of my scoliosis. This hurt. This was something that not only I didn't want but was stuck with and could not help. I started researching and heard nothing but great things about the Shriners Hospital for Children. These nurses and doctors change people lives daily.
I made an appointment and went to the closest Shriners Hospital to me which was in Tampa, Florida. I met with my doctor and toured the hospital. It was the most welcoming hospital I had ever been in... It didn't even have that awful hospital smell. I met with my surgeon Dr. Cronen and we set a date for the surgery.
Months later the day had come and it was time for me to have spinal surgery. I was terrified but I knew in order to be normal again and be healthy I had to do it. I had to be brave. Dr. Cronen and his staff did the absolute best job and now I am a healthy 19-year-old that can surf, ride bikes, ride roller coasters or anything anyone else can.
I can be a normal healthy 19-year-old because of Dr. Cronen and because of Shriners Hospital for Children. So, thank you for helping me be a normal healthy kid again.
By donating you are helping a child reach their full potential.