Zoe's Non-Fusion Spinal Surgery

Hi, I'm Zoe Anastasia Cronin and I REALLY need your help! I'm a normal 15-year-old except for ONE thing! I've just found out I need to have MAJOR spinal surgery for Scoliosis really soon! The problem is that the best option for me isn't available on the NHS or through Health Insurance. So, I am fundraising for Just4Children to help pay for it - and raise awareness. It all started a few months ago with backache that led to an MRI. I was told I had Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. I can't lie, this was a BIG shock! It seems my lower spine is growing with a 59° curve thats rapidly developed during a growth spurt. Causes are unknown, it affects 4% of children and is 10 times more likely in girls. The NHS Surgeon told me I need Spinal Fusion, fusing my lower spine together. It'll seriously impact my flexibility and increase my risk of degenerative disc disease. Without surgery it will painfully worsen putting pressure on my organs. Hearing this during my GCSE mocks was a nightmare. The worst day ever! Then we were advised about Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT). It's non-fusion surgery using flexible cords not metal rods to fix the spine and retains flexibility. VBT was developed and FDA approved in the USA and is practiced worldwide. I felt so optimistic! Hours of intense research and video calls led us to Dr Olaverri in Barcelona and Dr Bernard in London. They confirmed I'm a great candidate as I'm very flexible. I was so happy! The challenge is this pioneering surgery costs over £75,000! So, right now I need your support so that I can continue doing all the things I love like surfing and drumming - and hopefully a skydive one day! Even though I'm really scared at the thought of the operation I'm SO happy I fit the criteria for VBT and it's an option for me. Please help me achieve my goal by donating and sharing my story with all your friends. This will raise awareness of Scoliosis and the benefits of non-fusion. One day I want this to be available for children through the NHS. Thank you so much. Love Zoe xxx

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