Green June: Tommaso, a volleyball champion

I’m Tommaso, I’m 15 years old, I live in the province of Padua, and I’m attending the first year of scientific high school. I have always been passionate about volleyball. Compared to my other classmates and friends, I was always a little taller than average.
Since September 2022, I have been part of the youth sector of Volleyball Padova (a club that plays in the A1 league championship), and together with my teammates, we have achieved excellent results from the beginning.

After a sports medical examination in August 2023, I was found to have a suspected form of kyphosis, and I was told that if it worsened over the years, it would preclude me from being able to practice sports again. At this point, I immediately turned to the physiotherapist of our volleyball club, who, without any delay, advised me to turn to ISICO. After a first visit, I was confirmed to have kyphosis, and from that point on, a new life path began…
My adventure with the brace started in January. I would have to wear it every day for 20 hours with a four-hour break. As soon as I put it on, I felt short of breath and like I had lost control of my body; even the simplest movements had become impossible.
The first period was physically and morally difficult, painful, and strenuous, but thanks to volleyball, I never gave up. I knew I had to achieve the goals we had set for ourselves in September with my whole team, and, thanks to the hours of freedom without a corset during the training sessions, I found the courage and strength to start again. Every week, I train for two to three hours for four days.
I participate in two separate championships simultaneously, so two matches await me on the weekends. After much effort, sacrifices, and abnegations, the first results of this season have arrived:

– Under-15 interprovincial champion
– 5th place at the Brugnara Trophy (one of the most prestigious national trophies for the Under-15 category)
– Under-15 regional champion
– Champion at the Aequilibrium Territory Trophy with the FIPAV Padova Under-15 provincial selection

To conclude, from May 28th to June 2nd, we will be in Schio (VI), where we will participate in the national phase of the Under-15 category… Braced dudes! I’m waiting for you all to cheer on Volleyball Padova! I forgot…
The brace is helping me not only with my back but also with my height. I can say that I have gained a few centimetres in height, which is important in volleyball.

I thank all the Isico staff for following me professionally, especially Marta, who supported me a lot during the first difficult days.

Have a good journey, everyone, and do not forget—never give up!


Green June: Arianna, a karate champion

Since I was a child, I have always loved sports, so much so that I started practising karate at the age of 4. I certainly never imagined that just three years later I would find myself facing something bigger than myself: scoliosis.

I remember very well the first day I wore the brace; I wasn’t sad, I was just very confused. Initially, wearing a corset at school and in the gym didn’t bother me, but as I grew up, I started to feel the weight of other people’s judgement. Going to karate classes with a brace became increasingly difficult, especially because I felt limited and unable to give my all.

Despite this, my passion for karate was stronger than anything else, and despite being a child, I didn’t let scoliosis get me down.

The first satisfaction came from agonism competitions: at 12 years old, I won my first title as an Italian Karate champion, and, from that moment on, my motivation to train grew more and more. Shortly afterwards, however, as I entered adolescence, I began to feel embarrassed about having to wear the brace. I fell into a period of sadness that I couldn’t overcome: the races were going badly, and so was my mood. I got out of it thanks to my family and my karate teacher, who always supported me.

Karate was the strongest motivation that helped me overcome these difficulties and allowed me (and still allows me) to express myself. Once I got over that dark moment, I started winning again, but above all, I had fun during training and races. The results, in fact, did not take long to arrive, so much so that I won two more Italian championships in 2022 and 2024.

After seven years of sacrifices and sometimes difficult moments, my scoliosis has taught me how essential it is to get involved in life, not give up in the face of difficulties, and be tenacious and determined to achieve small and large goals.

Even if the path is not at all easy, I want to tell all the kids who, like me, are “braced” to never give up on their dreams.

I sincerely thank ISICO and, in particular, Dr. Zaina and my physiotherapist, Lorenza Vallini, who have taken care of me over the years. With their attention and professionalism, together with my sacrifices, today I can say that I am proud of my back.

Green June: Gaia, an artistic gymnastics champion

Often, a diagnosis of scoliosis leads to despair and the fear of not being able to live one’s daily life as a “braced.” It is not so.
We don’t want to say that it is easy or doesn’t require many sacrifices, but that despite the brace or wearing it, you can continue, for example, to practice sports. Even at a high competitive level, even with champion results, as in the case of the three stories we offer you this month dedicated to scoliosis.

Will you also wear green in June and share it with the hashtag #weargreenforscoliosis!

Gaia, a passion for artistic gymnastics
In November 2023, Gaia was diagnosed with scoliosis with primary right thoracic and left thoracic lumbar curves. A diagnosis that sounds like a condemnation of her passions. In fact, Gaia loves sports; she is very competitive and has been practicing artistic gymnastics since she was 5 years old. She trains for several hours, three times a week.
There’s no denying that her first thought was: Will I be able to practice gymnastics again? Will I be able to keep my habits the same? At the ISICO Centre, where she is being treated, the doctor who looks after her reassures her, telling her that she shouldn’t have to give up anything, especially gymnastics.

So it was: she continued to practice gymnastics, wearing her now faithful friend for 20 hours a day and training in the 4 hours of freedom, so much so that she won gold on the balance beam and placed second on the trampoline and third on floor exercise. “Our doctor was right—says Gaia—nothing has changed; sports, friends, habits… determination, perseverance, and sacrifice are needed, and, in a few years, I will be able to enjoy a healthy back, better posture, and bearing without having to give up my passions at the same time!”.

Dress green with us in June

As every year, Isico dresses in green throughout June with a particular initiative. 
During the four weeks of the month, we will release dedicated posts on our social networks where each time we will share something different: a video, a testimony or an image to talk about scoliosis and how it is possible to live your daily life and overcome the difficulties of a demanding therapy.

Isico will be also part of an initiative organised by Tratando Escoliose/Brazil who realised together with the Associação Brasileira de Tratamento da Escoliose (ABTE), the First Scoliosis Event exclusively for patients and families.
Concerned about the quality of the information that reaches those who are in search of adequate scoliosis treatment for their kids, ABTE and “Tratando Escoliose” want to facilitate the meeting between national and international health professionals, renowned in the field of scoliosis, clearing doubts and insecurities.
Isico will be represented with a short video given by our physiotherapy director Michele Romano on the importance of patient education, through informative material, to better understand the how and why of treatment and the importance of a strong team following the path.
Follow us too, wear green and share our posts with the hashtag for the event ##scoliosisawarenessmonth