Leah Stoltz (far left) and Rachel Mulvaney (second from right) at their first meeting in August 2006.
- Our Curvy Girls-
Who would have ever thought that four girls meeting on a hot August day in 2006 would have turned into an international network of peer-led support!
Fitting in isn’t easy when you’re a teenager and have to wear a body brace. Leah Stoltz was finishing out the sixth grade when she was diagnosed with scoliosis. Struggling with her developing body image and feelings of being different, Leah sought out support. When she couldn’t find a teen support group, she created one. On a hot summer in August 2006, Rachel Mulvaney and Mom, Terry, attended the first-ever meeting of what would become Curvy Girls — an international network of peer-run support.
While Leah was meeting with peers, parents gathered to discuss scoliosis challenges specific to families. Astounded by the information gathered during meetings, parents overwhelmingly responded with the same frustration and rhetorical questions — "Why weren’t we told? Why didn’t I know?” Parents left meetings more knowledgeable and empowered to address their concerns.
In response, parent advocate-turned author, Theresa Mulvaney, set out on a mission to find answers to commonly asked questions, and provide parents everywhere with scoliosis-related medical information to help guide treatment decisions. In 2010, while gathering information for their book, Terry encountered a little-known treatment for scoliosis where she subsequently brought her daughter. Despite its success in Europe, Physiotherapy Scoliosis Specific Exercise (then known as the Schroth Method) was basically an unknown in the U.S., and as such was not being prescribed. In a small town in Wisconsin, Terry would not only alter the course of her daughter’s curve progression but in effect, forever change the world of scoliosis care in the U.S. This information and more provided the content for Straight Talk with the Curvy Girls.
With new information available for the diagnosis and treatment of scoliosis, Terry and Robin have delivered Straight Talk Scoliosis -The Journey Continues for patients and their caregivers to be better prepared for the journey that scoliosis has in store.