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SHIFT seeks to eliminate the challenges of complex spinal diseases and related conditions through education and connections to medical services.
SHIFT’s history is that of a child’s pain and perseverance. Sami, SHIFT’s founder, developed a severe form of progressive scoliosis that deteriorated to the point where she required machines to breathe at night and medications to perform simple activities.
Humiliated, Sami hid her body’s ever growing deformity until it was no longer possible. The social ridicule was emotionally paralyzing. The few understanding people were drowned out by the deafening roar from the stigma around scoliosis. It was a painful, lonely journey.
Sami’s scoliosis eventually required complex spinal fusion surgery to stabilize her spine. With two steel rods, seventeen screws, and a bone graft fusing fifteen of her vertebrae into a solid pillar, she was given the gift of a second chance at a healthy life. With renewed vitality, Sami founded SHIFT to help children enduring hardships like she had.
Since its inception, SHIFT has grown considerably in both its breadth and depth. SHIFT works to eliminate the challenges associated with complex spinal diseases and related conditions through education and connections to medical care. We are motivated to improve health and wellbeing through early diagnosis, knowledge, and providing support services. From our medical outreach initiative to our blanket making support chapters to our therapeutic art classes, SHIFT is making a direct positive impact in the lives of children in our local community and across the world.
Today, many children worldwide will not be identified early enough to avoid invasive treatments, permanent physical deformities, and serious medical problems. Sadly, there are children who will never receive care and will suffer and die decades too soon. SHIFT is actively working to change these realities. Through innovative outreach programs, we are changing views, increasing knowledge and promoting optimal health. SHIFT is dedicated and working toward making better tomorrows.
- Jennifer Ripley Petersen
- (860) 335-9596
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