You are here

State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Sydney Borchardt

Sydney Borchardt

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Sydney Borchardt, 13, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, an eighth-grader at Southridge Junior High School, is the leader of a local support group for girls with scoliosis, and fulfills that role by chairing monthly meetings, responding to requests for information and comforting girls who are undergoing surgery. After Sydney was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 10, she had to endure years of wearing a back brace, doing chiropractic and yoga exercises, and finally having a spinal operation. During that time, her mother discovered Curvy Girls, an international network of scoliosis support groups, but found that the Oklahoma chapter had no members and needed a leader. “I told my mom that I wanted to become the leader and find new members,” said Sydney. “It’s important for myself and other girls to be able to discuss our feelings in a safe environment where we are understood.”

Sydney and her mother distributed fliers about Curvy Girls to doctors’ offices, and were featured in a local magazine. In just a few short months, the revitalized support group had grown to 17 members. Sydney schedules and officiates meetings once a month in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, where group members talk not only about their scoliosis, but also about issues they are having at home and school. They also work on projects that benefit the scoliosis community. In between meetings, Sydney stays in touch with them through email and social media. In addition, Sydney makes gift bags for scoliosis surgical patients and visits them in the hospital. Girls with scoliosis need to know, she said, that “they are not alone on their journey.”