While I was in Boston, Mr. O’Brien took my mom and me to walk around Boston College, and while there, we visited the chapel. Inside we found a tribute to St. Alphonsus Liguori, the patron saint of arthritis, sciatica, muscle pains, joint pains, and the like. He is the saint because he, himself, was crippled with these pains for the last 30 years of his life . Scoliosis fits right in with that considering that many suffer from pain in the muscles or nerve problems, etc. because of their scoliosis. As a result, I thought I would share the prayer to St. Alphonsus Liguori with you.
Prayers to St. Alphonsus Liguori
St. Alphonsus, you are the special patron of all who suffer from arthritis and the pains of many years. When our fingers twist with pain, keep us focused on the hands of Christ pierced with nails. When our knees throb with endless aches, allow us to see the knees of Jesus smashing to the street under the heavy cross. When our backs stiffen with soreness, let us remember the back of Christ thrown across the rough wood of the cross. When our hips, elbows, knuckles, and other joints hurt so much that tears well up in our eyes, help us to recall the tears, the sweat, and the blood that flowed from our crucified Jesus, who suffered so much more for each of us.
St. Alphonsus, you were afflicted with curvature of the spine and confined to a wheelchair in your final years. Teach us to unite all our pains with the sufferings of Jesus. By your intercession, may our pain be eased — but even more, may we be one with Jesus in his death and resurrection for the redemption of the world. Amen.
Here are two neat photos I took while in Boston. The National Scoliosis Foundation had a model of a fused spine in their office, and here it is below!
Late yesterday I got back from one of the most exciting trips ever! Mr. O’Brien, the CEO and President of National Scoliosis Foundation and a fellow scoliosis patient, invited me to come to Boston to learn how to screen for scoliosis. It was such an amazing experience to be in the office and learn such an important skill from such a special person. He truly is an inspiration and advocate for all of us walking down the path of scoliosis. Everyday he is fighting for each of us around the world. I do think his Irish spirit helps a bit! :) He is a role model in his personal and professional life, I pray and aspire to be able to emulate in my own life. He is like a walking encyclopedia of information about scoliosis and is willing to share what he knows with everyone, so we are empowered with this knowledge to help ourselves and others. I learned so much about treatments in the past, present, and some hopes for treatments in the future. I have faith we will find the cause and cure for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, which affects one in forty people because we have such caring and intelligent people like Mr. O’Brien in our scoliosis medical community worldwide. There are brilliant minds at work! Until then, we all have to continue using our voices and raising awareness of what scoliosis is and the importance of screening and early detection.
I was also gifted the beautiful bookmark above from Mr. O’Brien. I know some debate who first said this beautiful phrase, but I choose to think it was another Bostonian, Dr. Suess, who many credit. Whoever did pen this originally, had someone of Mr. O’Brien’s character in mind. He really does mean the world to me and many more, giving us all hope, filled with his care and support. Thank you Mr. O’Brien for being there for me and helping me to continue and grow in finding and using my voice! Boston’s past might be filled with many famous people, which we saw on our trip, but you are my pick for the best! What a treasure Boston has in you! What a treasure the scoliosis community has in you!!!
July 24 at 1:00 PM
July 25 at 4:30 AM
July 27 at 11:30 AM
July 28 at 4:30 AM
The channel is WHSG 63. I hope some of you can tune in! :)
I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to spread the word about scoliosis, Curvy Girls, the National Scoliosis Foundation and FOCOS to an even broader audience and through a completely new medium — TV! Last Wednesday I went down to Atlanta to have a one-on-one interview for the show Joy In Our Town and share about scoliosis and the different organizations I have become involved with. It was an amazing experience! The segment ended up being 15 minutes long with me sitting opposite the interviewer, Julie Haston, in an immaculate room decorated with Victorian style furniture and paintings (unfortunately, I don’t think you can see the whole room on the screen). Despite the elegant surroundings, the interview was a laid back, conversational style piece that made my first time on TV more fun and exciting than nerve- racking. As soon as I hear the release dates, I will post them for everyone to know!
Here is a picture of me in front of the studio.
I was very fortunate to spend the past week at the CDC Disease Detective Camp with kids from all over the country to learn about all the aspects of the CDC and public health. While talking about vaccinations, global eradication of small pox, and the effort towards global eradication of polio, I heard a sad story.
There was a girl back in the 50’s that caught polio when she was three and was paralyzed in her torso, which meant she needed an iron lung to move her diaphragm and breathe. When she was older, they tried to fit her for the portable, smaller version, but they learned she had scoliosis. Because she had scoliosis, her body was contorted and she could not fit the symmetrical mold for the portable, smaller version of the machine, so she spent her entire life in an iron lung.
Even though it was a sad story, I thought it was a good example of why scoliosis research and treatment is very, very important!
Here is a picture of an iron lung: