Jordan’s Story: The scoliosis rollercoaster

Jordan Martelli scoliosis patient story brace

I like to call life a rollercoaster; sometimes you go up, and sometimes you go down. When you’re up, you are going through parts in your life when you are happy, and when you’re down, you’re going through parts in your life that make you sad, and nothing can make you feel happy. At one point in my life, I was always riding down.

It all started when I went to the doctor for my yearly check-up. I thought I was fine, but secretly I wasn’t. My doctor told me I might have scoliosis — that’s when your spine is not straight. She told me I had to go to Boston Children’s Hospital to see what was wrong. That part of my life was when my roller coaster went down, and nothing made me feel happy. If my mom wasn’t there supporting me while I cried, I wouldn’t have made it.

The day I went to Boston Children’s was probably the scariest day of my life. They told me I had scoliosis, and that I had to wear a back brace. I didn’t want the brace, but I definitely did not want surgery. My mom and dad were there, comforting me because I was crying so much that I had no more tears left. Every day after that, I was the lowest you could ever be on a roller coaster. A couple months later, we went back to the hospital and got the brace. When the doctor first put it on me, I felt like I was going to faint, literally!

After I got my brace, I was going into the 4th grade. It was my first day back from summer vacation, and I can definitely tell you that I felt different from the other kids. I didn’t feel like I belonged. I was sad, I was weak and I thought I couldn’t do anything. I only told my friends I had the brace on because I felt like if anyone else knew they would make fun of me.

Later on that year, a kid in my class made fun of me for wearing a brace. I wanted to stay strong, but I couldn’t help it, I cried just a little bit. My friends were supporting me all the way. I told the teacher and my parents. They had the right to know. I didn’t care if people called me a tattletale — but they didn’t!

After that day, you would probably think my roller coaster went down even more, but it didn’t. That day actually made my roller coaster go up. Why, you may ask? Because I knew my friends would support me every day, and they wouldn’t call me weird because I had a back brace. It made me know that I could trust my friends.

Now I’m in the fifth grade, and I’m still in my brace and won’t be out of it for a while. But I’m fine with that, because I feel stronger, braver, happier and bold. My family and my friends are always there to support me, no matter what. Yes, it may stink to have scoliosis, and it may stink to have a brace. But now I love my brace, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

When I wear the brace, it makes me feel unique, and I like that. I will wear it today, tomorrow, the day after that, and the day after that — and I’m fine with that. As you can see, my rollercoaster is super high right now. So if anyone has ever had or has scoliosis and is wearing a brace, take it from me: Anytime I wear my brace I feel like a superhero. My brace brings the best out of me, and if anyone ever makes fun of me again, I won’t cry. I will be strong because I’m big, I’m bold and I’m brave.

Learn more about the Spinal Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.