Scoliosis: New Me

By: Kiara Martin

My name is Kiara Martin and I am from Savannah, Georgia. Disfigurement to me, means being special. It means God, or whoever you believe is the creator, gave you a little extra to stand out, because she/he knew you were special.

I was born with scoliosis. Scoliosis is when the spine curves to one side. When I was a baby, I was also diagnosed with cancer on my ribs. To fix that problem, the doctors removed five of my ribs. My feelings towards my diagnosis is always changing; at the moment I am ok with it. 

Fast-forward to 2011; I had another surgery to correct the curve of my back a little more. It went well, but it caused me to develop chronic respiratory failure and thus, my lungs have become more restrictive. Living without five ribs means that when I breathe in and out, I don’t get enough oxygen in my lungs. Because of all of the other diagnoses that have spurred from my scoliosis, I am learning to just accept it and live my best life. 

If I were asked 9 years ago whether my condition was part of my identity, I would say no. Having scoliosis did not stop me from doing anything I put my mind to. I have a beautiful daughter. I completed my bachelor’s degree in social work and did that with honors, while carrying an oxygen tank. It was not easy, the tank was heavy, but I still made it to all my classes and meetings on time. I pat myself on the back every time I think about it. If I am honest, I would now say that scoliosis is part of my identity because my life is not the same and because of it, it is a little harder. 

My new diagnoses, chronic respiratory failure and lung disease have changed me. I can’t but think that when I see it on paper, it sounds scary. It has affected my daily living. I have to do everything slower, no more rushing. I have trouble just walking around my home. I wear oxygen 24/7, and without it, I cannot breathe. Stress is a BIG no-no. Things like getting dressed, taking showers, driving, and working is harder to do and it takes so much out of me. I believe that most of my family and friends don’t understand and are having a hard time adjusting to the “new me.”

When I am feeling down about my new normal I cope by listening to music; it helps me a lot. Praying helps me a lot too. I am in the process of starting a non-profit called “Moms Like Me”, to help other moms by providing support and encouragement through challenging diagnoses like mine. I want it to become an organization that helps women all over the world. I want to be remembered  as someone that encourages others to do what they aspire to do. I believe anything can be accomplished if you have faith and you try.

You can follow Kiara’s journey @moms_likeme


  • Posted by Michael boyd on

    While others drowning in their pool of " what they dont have and can’t do, because of this and that" , the GODDESS KIARA MARTIN Walks on water. Inspiration it is !

  • Posted by Alfonso wilson on

    Just 🏃 tho your words. thanking about what u really got going on. It hit me so hard i start crying in the inside because i cant believe it. hey god always around when u need him. 😣😢 u was always strong to me. U never back down from nth.

  • Posted by Alma Burney Turner on

    MY LOVELY, I am SOOO very proud of you. Until I was diagnosed with COPD (which hardly compares to your progressive respiratory diagnosis), I didn’t have a clue how how difficult it was/is for you. YOU ARE MY “SHERO”. Though you may have grown weaker in many ways, YOU HAVE GROWN STRONGER IN OTHERS!! I LOVE YOU AND “LUCY LOU” TOO!! STAY ENCOUNTERED!!!

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