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Hi, I’m Zoë Anastasia.
I’m raising awareness of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis because this condition has very suddenly affected me and I’d like to share my story with you so hopefully lots of people will know more about this condition which can affect any child during growth spurts.
In January, I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis. Meaning my spine is growing in a curve instead of growing straight! Seeing my curved spine in the X-ray was a huge shock because although I’d experienced some backache I hadn’t noticed any other symptoms. 
These are facts I’ve learnt about Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: 
1. There’s NO KNOWN causes for it (can occur in any child during growth spurts) 
2. It’s not hereditary 
3. Affects up to 10 times more girls than boys
4. Occurs in 2-3 % of children  
5. It can develop quickly & worsen rapidly
If I’d been diagnosed earlier I would have had other treatment options like using a back brace but because my curve had grown to 59 degrees undetected, my ONLY option on the NHS or private health care is FUSION surgery to stop it getting worse (the bigger the curve gets the more pressure it’ll put on my heart & lungs)
I couldn’t believe this shocking news the consultant was telling me, all I kept thinking was-I haven’t got time for this right now, I’m right in the middle of my mock exams & I can’t take 6 weeks off to recover when I’ve got my GCSE’s coming up! Little did I know that the Coronavirus outbreak would soon put an end to my exams and all elective surgeries too.
FUSION surgery involves removing my spinal discs and fusing together my affected vertebrae with metal screws & rods. This reduces flexibility and mobility of the spine.  After some research we discovered a NON FUSION procedure that uses flexible tethers instead of metal rods to correct the curve & this retains the spine flexibility.  Amazingly I meet the strict criteria for this advanced (self funded) procedure so I’m hoping to raise the £75,000 to get this surgery done ASAP.
By raising awareness of scoliosis I hope to get more people checking their backs for signs of scoliosis. This will lead to earlier diagnosis and therefore more treatment options available other than just the standard fusion surgery.
Please help me teach my goal 
Love Zoë xx

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