What if you woke one day and your entire life changed?
Jamb Question! Haha.. Is that what you thought?
Okay. On a more serious note, What if you woke one day and your entire life changed? I mean, not literarily, but then that one moment when you realise that life for you is going to be different afterwards… and I’m not talking about that Olajumoke type of different😝 LoL!
Okay. Seriously. *serious face*
This was me some 12/13 years ago, thereabout. Here. Clueless. I was 11 years old, in Jss3. My ambition in life was to be a doctor (or maybe not). Well, I was pretty much a normal kid- full of life and struggling through the many, typical secondary school issues, or so I thought. Until this one day…
I’ll never forget. I was dressed for a party in a fitted, green to-match skirt and top. One step out, and… “What’s wrong with your back, Bimbo?” Everyone at home gathered right behind me. My sister was first to notice my back wasn’t just appearing normal. First thing on Monday morning, we landed in front of an orthopedic doctor, and that would be the first time any of us would hear the word- SCOLIOSIS.
“Your daughter has scoliosis”, He said. Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine – the spine is curved to one side of the body, rather than straight. It affects girls more than boys and occurs most often during the pre-adolescent years when girls are self-conscious and insecure about their changing bodies. 80-90% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic (meaning they have no known cause) and while there are treatment options, scoliosis has no 100% cure.
At various times through secondary school I had people call me sorts. They didn’t understand. I didn’t understand, either; so I really did not care. Then I got to uni. That was when I think I began to understand. I was different from the others! Clothes won’t just fit, something was just definitely wrong wrong!
I’m usually a very jovial person but then I was jovially battling some serious addiction to low self-esteem. I would smile and make friends easily but in my closet, I would cry and be nothing but enemies with my own self.
Until the time came (that’s another story for another day). I finally emBRACEd myself (at least half way😁) LoL! Okay so fast forward from that moment to the day I write this…
I’ve come a long way in my walk with scoliosis, but I also have a long way to go. I’m currently on my own journey to improving my back and while I do believe I’m going to be all fine, I don’t think I have to wait to be all fine before doing this..
I have fears, and one of my biggest fears is vulnerability. Okay, open up/tell everyone who doesn’t even notice or have a clue at all about this part of me, then what?… but then I have something else, something way above these fears- LOVE. ..and just as C.S Lewis did tell us, to Love, at all, is to be vulnerable.
I remember once my dad read an interview I did about living with scoliosis- I shared about how I once overheard a boy say he couldn’t marry a person like me because “that one no normal”, amongst other psychological issues I’ve had to deal with, he just broke down in tears. He kept saying “Bimbo why does this have to happen to you; you don’t deserve this…” It broke my heart; and I now had to be the one saying to him “daddy it’s going to be all okay” and all 😃😊😊.. The “comfort needer” became the “comforter giver”. LoL! Bless him dearly!💜
So, here we are!…
…For the sake of that one child who really doesn’t have to go through life dealing with scoliosis (life on its own is already difficult); For the sake of that parent who doesn’t have to heartbreaking-ly watch a child of their’s suffer undeservingly from scoliosis, The Beyond A Curved Spine initiative is born.
We want to help spread awareness for scoliosis in Nigeria. We want to help scoliosis patients lead better lives and stay strong. We want to help say NO to bullying, NO to African stereotype myths about scoliosis patients, and NO to damaged self-esteem.
We want people to kNOw scoliosis and we want people to know that, irrespective of whatever situation or curve life brings their way, they can stand tall, shine bright and live amazing! We want people to know there’s such a life that’s way way beyond a curved spine!.✨✨🌟
But then, we know that without YOU in this, there’s no winning on our side. That’s why I’m sharing this.
My heart is beat-wish-ing that you not just read and take this to be another “nice thing”, it’s a needed thing! Scoliosis is no respecter of race, tribe, colour, mindset, religion or tongue. It could happen to ANYBODY.
As is always my philosophy: We may not be able to change the entire world, but we can definitely make a difference. That difference, is all the change the world longs for.
If you’ll like to know more about scoliosis, please read here.
Together, we are always better. Let’s do this!💪💪💪😁