Standing Straight

Imagine you're 11 years old and your body is twisting from scoliosis, causing you constant physical pain and making you look very different from other kids. You're scheduled for surgery to straighten your spine and your mom takes a "before" picture so you'll have a history of how you once looked. But instead of hiding the picture away in a drawer, you decide to put it online so people will understand what scoliosis does, and so that others who are dealing with it might be less tempted to hide themselves.

The surgery worked: she's delighted to be standing straight, like other kids. But instead of just moving on, Samantha Petersen has reached out again to all those other people with scoliosis, helping them understand the process, comforting them, and letting them know someone understands.