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Freshman faces struggles with double scoliosis

Emmalee Dykstra, Staff Writer

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Freshman Grace Broadbent suffers from double scoliosis.

She was diagnosed last year in April, and she ended up going to the chiropractor at least three times a week.

Not only did this take a toll on her physically and mentally, the cost of keeping up with the visits started to add up quickly.

“It costs around $50 every appointment, and I had to go three times a week for three months. It becomes a lot after awhile,” Broadbent said.

Broadbent said she finds solace in her love for music, though. In addition to being in the orchestra, she plays many other instruments, including ukulele, piano, and penny whistle.

While in school, Broadbent said she struggles some days to stay focused because of the pain.

“While I am in school, I’m sitting for a large portion of the day, and that triggers pain waves in my back,” she said. “I usually take Advil four times throughout the day. Two pills each time, and it still hurts.

Usually, I have to ask a teacher if I can walk around to take the pain away.”

When it comes to school in general, though, Broadbent said that her disease has a lot to do with the time she spends away from it.

“With my spine, it is usually hard to wake up in the morning due to the pain,” she said. “Usually, I pretend I’m sick because my mom believes that I need to be sick to not go to school, which I totally I get.

But the spine is connected to a lot of organs in the body, so sometimes it can cause a lot of mental issues, too. I suffer from severe anxiety as well as mild depression, and I feel my spine takes a portion of that. I usually miss school because of that as well.”

There is some hope for relief in her future.

“I am getting a back brace,” Broadbent said. “It looks like a whole bunch of ace bandages wrapped around the body, but I am hoping that it will take the pain away. I would have to wear it for 20 hours of the day for two years. I also have to do aggressive stretches that fit to my spine. You have to go to a specialist for some stretches.”

Above all of the obstacles her double scoliosis throws at her, Broadbent remains able to do the things she loves, and she doesn’t let it define who she is.

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