Kaisa was diagnosed with scoliosis in her home country Finland at the age of seven. When Kaisa wore a straightening brace every day from age 7 to 16, the years were full of ups and downs. Her mother, Marja, did everything she could to make Kaisa's burden as light as possible, as any parent worried for their child.
Growing Up in a Brace is a book about almost ten years of scoliosis treatment written from patient’s and parent’s perspectives. Kaisa and her mother wrote down their experiences, sharing practical information about scoliosis as well as thoughts on finding motivation and mental health. Their diary-like glimpses on life with the disease and treatment expand over almost 20 years.
Growing Up in a Brace provides a lot of practical information about scoliosis and bracing through the authors' experience and interviews with medical professionals from the Finnish health care system. It helps newly diagnosed patients and their families adapt to their new reality and find motivation for years of treatment. Deeply personal and honest, the book speaks openly about frustrating encounters at the hospital and shares moments of joy along the way. The authors also look back at the treatment years from a distance – Kaisa is 25 years old today. They answer questions of life after treatment and contemplate how the experience affected their life in more subtle ways.
Above all, Growing Up in a Brace is a story of love and caring between parents and children, and of perseverance and accepting one's difference – worth reading for anyone.