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Girl speaking in a support group

Curvy Girls - A Support Group for Girls with Scoliosis

If you've been following our blog, you know Sophia was born with a genetic chromosome disorder called 22q. To explain it in its simplest terms, a piece of her chromosome 22, responsible for more than 90 functions of the body, was deleted at conception. Consequently many medical complications can occur and present differently in each affected child. One of those complications can be scoliosis.

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. Sophia was diagnosed last year. Her back has a slight curve that has increased over the past year. In an effort to avoid surgery, she was prescribed a body brace. Fortunately, she only has to wear it at night.

In the process of preparing for her new brace, we learned about Curvy Girls – one of the coolest groups for young girls. I saw a flyer in the prosthetics office during an appointment to have Sophia's brace fitted. I chuckled, thinking it was a group for women with curvy hips. “Hmmm,” I thought, “a chance for mommy to make some more friends,” until I looked closer. The motto on the flyer read: "We’ve Got Your Back." I discovered that this cleverly named group was for girls with scoliosis, and there are two local chapters in Hampton Roads.

We attended our first meeting in June. Sophia met other girls dealing with similar struggles of trying to fit in, feeling different, and the aches and pains of scoliosis and living with a brace. The girls were supportive, open, and caring as they shared tips about overcoming their personal challenges. All of the girls there, except for Sophia, wore a brace all day. This really gave my daughter a perspective check. It helped her realize that wearing her brace at night wasn’t as daunting as she thought – compared to what her new friends had to endure.

What I found most impressive was that all of the Curvy Girl chapters are run by young girls with scoliosis who range in age from their tweens to teenage years. What an incredible example of leadership being modeled for these young girls! I saw compassion, guidance, support, and even humor shared amongst the girls as they chatted in the group.

We are a month in and Sophia has slowly, but surely, adjusted to wearing her stylish pink camouflage brace when she sleeps. We now tell her to put on her abs of steel before bed. As Sophia gets adjusted to the brace, Curvy Girls provides emotional support that can empower her to lead and – no pun intended – embrace who she is.

If you want to learn more about Curvy Girls or scoliosis, visit them online at

Your child’s pediatrician should be your primary source of advice about your child’s health.

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About Adrianna and Ryan Walden

About Adrianna and Ryan  Walden

Ryan and Adrianna Walden have been married for 17 years. The two met when she was working for an arena football team in Norfolk where he was playing football. Ryan is a service coordinator with the Chesapeake Early Intervention Program and Adrianna is a Licensing Specialist for Children's Programs with the Department of Education. Both enjoyed teaching CHKD’s "Happiest Baby" class together for over a decade. Together they have one daughter, who despite early health issues, is now a thriving and happy teen. The Walden's have a passion for working with children and married couples.