BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
A 12-year-old girl recently diagnosed with scoliosis is using her medical condition to spread awareness about the disease. She has also started a new group to help bring hope to others who may be dealing with the same thing.
Kylee Cross will be undergoing surgery on her spine in the coming weeks and she already has a long list of things she wants to accomplish when she gets back on her feet.
It’s not how Cross wanted to ring in the New Year.
"I felt alone and I'm saying why me, I've already gone through my share of surgeries or injuries," said Cross.
Being diagnosed with scoliosis isn't stopping Cross from going public with her condition and using her experiences to help others.
"If you're going through this, you don't have to be alone," she said.
Next month, Cross is undergoing spinal fusion and getting stainless steel rods put on her spine to help straighten out. It will give her the ability to do all the things she use to do on a regular basis.
"I haven't given up, I feel as if I recover from this surgery fully I will go back to softball and I will go back to swimming," said Cross.
Cross plans to work hard on her newly formed non-profit, Scoliosis Strong, a Kern County awareness and support group for young girls just like her.
"In Kylee's case, she has an upper curve that has progressed 53 degrees in a very quick time frame and she's actually started developing a second curve which is now at 25 degrees and her spine is also rotating which is twisting her upper body so her lungs are restricted so she's having a lot of breathing problems associated with the curb of the spine," said Nikki Cross, Kylee’s mom.
The plan is to have a blood drive each spring and a walk each fall, both raising money for scoliosis programs.
"So, there's definitely a reason why this is happening so let's take this situation that has turned us upside down and realize that things can be so much worse and lets use this to help others so that other young ladies her age don't have to face this," she said.
A recent blood drive for Cross recently brought in more than thirty donors. A second is scheduled for May second. The family has already set up a Facebook and an account to collect funds for its new organization.
If you are on Facebook, you can “LIKE” Scoliosis Strong, a Kern County Awareness and Support Group.
Contributions to support efforts of Scoliosis Strong for Awareness and Support can be made through the Kern Community Foundation (FEIN 77-0555874). Checks payable to Kern Community Foundation with a memo “Scoliosis Strong” can be mailed to 3300 Truxtun, Ave. Suite 220 Bakersfield, CA 93301 or credit card donations online at www.kernfoundation.org, click on Donate Now and choose Scoliosis Strong.