My name is Valerie. I am a fourteen year old girl who has been in a boston brace ever since age 11. The brace has taught me so much. I wake up every morning, grateful that i have a big hunky piece of plastic strapped to my back, because i am not struggling to get out of bed with a crooked back. I just thought I'd say, to all of you new brace wearers, and ones who may be getting a brace soon, or ones who have been in one for a long time and are ready to give up, that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We walk around, and we wish we didn't have scoliosis. It's not fair. It's not what we want. We all want straight spines, and to top it all off, we have more problems in life to deal with than scoliosis and a brace. But you know what.? I am so happy that i got to wear this. It has been a completely miserable road for me. But it has TAUGHT ME TO BE THANKFUL THAT I AM NOT WORSE OFF. Thankful that i am still able to move around, and thankful that my back is not so bad to where people can tell. My curves have even become less noticeable with this brace. I am so very thankful for this brace. I have cried, I have screamed, I have hit the brace and threw it around, I have been grumpy, I have been sad, I have been hurt, mad, disappointed, and distraught. I remember the very first day i saw the brace. When my orthotist came in the door with that- thing.. i could NOT believe my eyes. i had NO IDEA it would be a hard piece of clunky plastic. I said, "How in the world am I supposed to wear this.?" But now I've learned how to wear it. Now I can finally say that i only have 2 more months to wear this thing. So.. all of you out there, don't be afraid to talk to someone about your brace. Don't bottle it up until you explode. Talk to someone. I am here to help you. Yes i may be only 14.. But I am still a person who has something in common with you. I have scoliosis. My motto has become: "hey, don't question it, embrace it." and that is exactly what i have done with my scoliosis. Sure, there were times when I lost hope and wanted to give up. BUT I DIDN'T. What if i had given up? Where would my spine be now.? Would it be to Texas.? Would it be to China.? Would it be to the South Pole.? Who knows.? But it is where it is right now, and thank Heavens it isn't any worse. This Brace has been building up and hiding wings for me [and all of you] for about 3 years now [at least for me]. When the day comes that i get to take it off, Those wings will bust open and allow me to soar. I will shout, and scream, and sing, and most likely cry tears of joy, [I am pretty] and probably look dorky. But hey, I deserve to act like a dork after three years of plastic back. Smile, hold your head up high, and don't let anybody stand in your way. People ask you about it.? Say you want to become a model when you're older, so you wear it to shape you. It's true.. you will be a model- a role model. A role model to those who will go through the same thing you went through. It will shape you, too. It will correct and protect your curve, and it will make you a much more thankful person. Set a good example for others, and let your inner and outer beauty shine through. You are a very beautiful person. So.. I say to all of you fellow scoliosis people....... Get ready to soar.