After just one surgery, Alivia McCord is now able to take to the stage - her first performance in almost two years takes place on Saturday.
Two years ago when McCord turned 13, her mother, Donna noticed something was not right.
"My hips were crooked and after I got an x-ray, I found out my spine was 40 degrees curved," said McCord.
The diagnosis was scoliosis - an abnormal curvature of the spine during the growth spurt. McCord's dancing came to a crashing halt.
"I was terrified...I was terrified I was never going to be able to dance again," she said.
One doctor wanted to schedule her for fusion surgery. While that is a successful procedure, it stiffens the spine and takes away flexibility.
Flexibility is what McCord needed to be back on stage, so her mother turned to Dr. Baron Lonner, an orthopedic surgeon at Mt. Sinai.
"We put screws in the vertebrae and we link those screws with tether or cord like a rope, and we tension it so we correct the curve," Dr. Lonner said.
McCord's surgery in the summer of 2019 was successful.
After a year and a half of being sidelined and dealing with COVID, McCord will now be back on the stage this weekend -- and has a message to others struggling.
"Don't give up, never give up," she said.
McCord never did - and she'll be back where she belongs - shining on that stage.
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