DENVER (KDVR) — A local 14-year-old is using her journey with scoliosis and a new emerging surgery to help support others.
Pictures of Addie Jenkins capture her true passion for sports, particularly swimming and lacrosse.
Addie started swimming at just 7 years old, but when she turned 8, she got a diagnosis that doctors say 1% of the world deals with — scoliosis.
“There are definitely a bunch of ups and downs throughout the entire thing, and it’s just difficult to wear a brace 18 hours every day, especially with school and everything,” Addie said.
Addie went through school and sleep with a brace on for years.
“As a parent, watching your kid go through that just breaks your heart,” Jenkins’ father Glenn said.
The Jenkins’ worked with pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jaren Riley and his practice, Rocky Mountain Pediatric OrthoONE.
“She recently went through surgery, she had vertebral body tethering done and she’s recovered very nicely,” Riley said. “She continues to grow, we should see the curve get smaller and smaller.”
Riley told FOX31 this tethering is a newer, less invasive way of treating scoliosis.
“The recovery itself is, I think, lower on the pain scale,” he said. “It’s a quicker recovery in terms of getting back to normal life and especially the most important things like sports, dance, roller coasters, those things you can return to far faster.”
Addie said she’s now enjoying sports with less pain while also leading the Colorado Chapter for Curvy Girls International, a peer support group for girls with scoliosis. They meet once a month at Addie’s home.
“I want to help make it easier for other girls going through it and just to be there to support them and to share my experiences with them,” she said.