A South Tyneside woman who has suffered from scoliosis has told of her battle with the condition – as she looks to help those in a similar situation.
Caroline Nicholson, 33, from South Shields, was diagnosed with it when she was just 14.
Being diagnosed doesn’t have to be the end of the worldCaroline Nicholson
Scoliosis causes curvature of the spine, and Caroline had to go through two lengthy operations as a teenager.
On Saturday, she hopes to raise both funds and awareness for the charity Speak Up For Scoliosis as part of the National Scoliosis Awareness Month.
Caroline is holding an event for the charity in the form of a 45-minute bootcamp, while there will also be a bouncy castle, face painting, live music, a tombola and a charity raffle with 60 prizes.
The event is on outside the Sand Dancer, on Sea Road, South Shields, from 10.30am.
Caroline is living proof that scoliosis does not “have to be the end of the world”. She is now a personal trainer and a teaching assistant at St Gregory’s Primary School, in South Shields.
She said: “We just want to raises awareness of scoliosis, because no one really seems to know much about it.
“It causes curvature of the spine and affects children. I’ve suffered from it myself.
“I’m trying to get parents aware of the problems it can cause if it isn’t looked for.
“You have to look at your child’s back for the symptoms, which include one shoulder being higher than the other, one shoulder blade sticks out more than the other and one side of the rib cage appearing higher than the other.
“I was 14 when I was diagnosed with it. I got beat up at school and that is how they discovered it.
“I had an operation when I was 15, and I had titanium metal rods fused to my spine to start with.
“When I was 16, I had to have another operation to remove them because my body rejected the metal.
“Now, I still have a 30% curve, but it’s a lot more manageable.
“The only things I can’t really do are bend my back, slouch, do sit-ups or go on a trampoline.
“Being diagnosed doesn’t have to be the end of the world.
“With this event, I just want to raise awareness really and raise money for the charity at the same time.”
People can attend the fun day, whether or not they are taking part in the bootcamp.
Caroline requests a £4 donation from adults wishing to take part in the bootcamp, and £2 from children.
For more on scoliosis and the symptoms of it, visit www.spine-health.com/conditions/scoliosis/scoliosis-symptoms