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Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville patient Sydney was named the Miss South Carolina Teen 2012. Sydney, the first-runner up in the pageant, was named Miss South Carolina Teen following Miss South Carolina Teen Rachel Wyatt being crowned Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2013.

At age 7, Sydney was diagnosed with scoliosis and began coming to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville for treatment. In hopes of stopping her curve’s progression, she was prescribed a brace. Though she wore the brace 12-hours-a-day, by the time she was 11 years old, Sydney’s spine had continued to curve.

With Sydney’s curve now at 54 degrees, physicians at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville recommended she have spinal fusion surgery.

Sydney says, “If I had not had the surgery, I would not be able to live a normal life. Later in life I would end up having respiratory problems because my body would be misshapen.”

Four years after her fusion surgery, Syndey says she feels great. “I am so glad I had the surgery,” she says. “I am proud of my scar. I know you can do anything and everything if you put your mind to it and I want to share my story with other children.”

With her new straight back and new found confidence, Sydney began competing in local beauty pageants. Her titles include Miss Greater Lyman Teen 2011 and Miss Greater Greer Teen 2012. In the Miss South Carolina Teen 2012 competition, Sydney placed first-runner up and received a $5,000 scholarship. She was named preliminary and overall evening wear/on-stage question winner.

As a patient ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, Sydney says it was an easy decision to make the hospital her platform.

“The [Greenville] Shriners Hospital has done so much for me that I want to give back. I want to be the inspiration in people’s lives that helps them to realize that they can achieve what may seem to be the impossible!” Sydney explains throughout her year as Miss South Carolina Teen.

Meet some of our other special patients.