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State Honoree

Brooke Lyons

Connecticut

Brooke Lyons, 17, of Hopkins School in New Haven, Connecticut, founded and now presides over the Scoliosis Association of Connecticut, a support and information network for individuals with scoliosis and their families. At the age of 14, after years of studying ballet, Brooke was diagnosed with scoliosis and had to wear a body brace for 18 hours each day to improve her condition. Her search for information and support led only to frustration when she realized that the closest support group was located many miles away on Long Island, New York. Brooke, determined to make the path easier for others than it was for her, worked with the National Scoliosis Association to develop a Connecticut chapter which now includes I 00 members. Brooke schedules meetings, secures guest speakers, reaches out to the community, handles media relations, educates school nurses on the importance of scoliosis screenings, raises funds, and staffs a toll-free support hot line which she created. "The stories I've heard, the lives that I have touched, and the changes I have made all have left permanent imprints in my mind and in my heart," said Brooke.