Metro mother-daughter duo creates support group for girl with scoliosis

MOORE, Okla. - Inside Southridge Middle school in Moore is a young lady who pays it forward one new friend at a time.

13-year-old Sydney Borchardt helps organize a group called Curvy Girls.

It's a support and information group for girls who have had to deal with scoliosis, a condition that makes a person's spine curve, usually in the shape of an S.

Scoliosis is diagnosed most often between 10 and 20 years old. Girls are typically more severely affected.

Sydney's mom Melissa, helps with the support group.

"Sydney was diagnosed with scoliosis at 10 years old," Melissa told us. "So we've been battling this for over 3 years. And as we went along we learned a lot and thought other people needed to know what we know."

Sidney says the girls in the Curvy Girls group help each other in unique ways.

"In our group there are girls wearing braces or stopped wearing braces or had surgery or just found out," Sydney says. "So it's kinda cool to have the different types of girls going thru the same thing. To help or show..'I do this or what do you do?'...and just kind of encouraging..we don't really talk about what the girls call scary all the medical stuff."

Only a small percentage of scoliosis patients require treatment like back braces and an even smaller percentage require surgery. But Sydney did.

"She did not have spinal fusion, she had what's called vertical body tethering," Sydney's dad Dusty told us. "It's an experimental surgery that's been around for a while but there's no one in Oklahoma who performs that surgery currently we hope that changes in the future. Luckily our daughter was a candidate at Shriners in Philadelphia."

Because of all Sydney and Melissa are doing through Curvy Girls, church friend Audra Aldridge, nominated the pair for Pay It Forward.

When Audra Guerrero from First Fidelity Bank handed the cash to the mother/daughter team, Audra told them, "It means so much to me on a personable level. My mom had polio as a child and I've seen her go through life struggling with her spine, with her curvy spine. And now as I watch your journey, it's just encouraging Sydney and Melissa what you are doing for other people..very inspiring to the people here in OKC and our community. So on behalf of First Fidelity Bank and Channel 4, I'd like to present both of you with 400 dollars to pay it forward."

Surprised to say the least, Sydney and Melissa told us they would put the $400 right back into the Curvy Girl group to buy more information pamphlets and other materials the group needs.

"That's awesome," Melissa said. "It's going to help a lot of kids..we're actually sending a package to Portland today so this will help send packages to patients that are having scoliosis issues."

Turning a setback into a comeback and helping others like her along the way. Sydney and mom Melissa Borchardt know the meaning of Pay it Forward.

Pay It Forward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.

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