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Sydney: 2021-2022 National Patient Ambassador

Sydney: 2021-2022 National Patient Ambassador

Sydney, who is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, learned she had scoliosis when she was 10. Her treatment began with bracing, but despite a strict exercise regimen and wearing her brace 23 hours a day for 1½ years, her curvature progressed. Searching for an alternative to spinal fusion surgery, Sydney and her family learned about the VBT treatment option.

Sydney had her VBT procedure at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia when she was 12, performed by Steven W. Hwang, M.D. “VBT has allowed Sydney to retain her flexibility and to get back to all the things she loves faster and stronger than ever,” said her mother, Melissa.

Now 16, Sydney loves playing the oboe in the school band, and enjoys painting and swimming. Sydney, whose great-grandfather was a Shriner, looks forward to continuing that family legacy by telling her story as a National Patient Ambassador.

“To make my scoliosis journey a more positive experience, I had to reach out and to help others,” Sydney said. “I said ‘yes’ to being a National Patient Ambassador because Shriners Hospitals has done so much for me, and I feel I could never repay that. That surgery has changed my life. It has shaped me to be the person I am today.”