#MyBlogLife: We Meet Style Blogger And Scoliosis Warrier Ciara Walsh

Your name: Ciara Walsh

Age: 22

Instagram: @ciaraswalsh

Blog: Ciara S Walsh

Snapchat: @ciaraswalsh

Like many others, Ciara Walsh started her blog to share her love of style and travel. Unlike many others, she’s also using it as a platform to raise awareness of scoliosis, which she was diagnosed with aged 13.

Scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, is a condition in which the spine bends to the side abnormally; either to the right or left. Ciara’s currently awaiting her second major spinal surgery, which she hopes will give her some relief from the pain she’s had since her first surgery seven years ago. We chatted to Ciara about her condition, her blog and what she has in store for 2017.

 

When did you first get started with blogging?

I shared my first post at the end of May 2015. Best day of my life, if you ask me!

Your blog features a mix of lifestyle, travel and fashion but what’s your favourite subject to write about and why?

That’s a toughie. I absolutely love shooting fashion posts and styling my outfits. I’ve had a passion for style since a young age, but I adore visiting new destinations. Capturing the culture of various places is when I’m at my happiest.

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One thing you’ve been quite open about is your experience with scoliosis. Did you always plan to share your story on your blog?

I’ve always wanted to help others who suffer with this condition and I make an effort to do that through my blog. Scoliosis is not talked about enough, which isn’t fair on people who have to battle it alone. I set out to show people that even with a spinal deformity you can still be beautiful. All scoliosis warriors need to start speaking up. I hope my blog can help others do that.

Where are you at now, health-wise?

At the moment I am awaiting further surgery as my initial surgery seven years ago didn’t go to plan. Ideally that first surgery would have been the end of my pain by fusing 14 of my vertebrae to straighten my spine. However the last two vertebrae never properly fused and so the rod inside my spine is moving against them. My doctors only realised that earlier this year after I presented to A&E with severe pain. I’m optimistic about my next op, but still scared. I can’t remember a day where I haven’t felt pain so let’s hope this will be the end to it.

What advice would you give to others struggling with scoliosis who may feel it’s a barrier for them?

I was so ashamed of my condition and scar in my teenage years, and looking back now I feel like that was a different person. These days I embrace myself for who I am, and I’d love to see all scoliosis warriors happily wearing any clothes they want instead of feeling the need to cover up.

Yes, there will be ignorant people who don’t know what scoliosis is and they will stare, but it’s your body. All you can do is hold your head up high and show off your beauty. This summer I went to the beach and I almost wanted everyone to see my scar. It’s become something I’m proud of. I’d also advise anyone with the condition to seek support online, from places like the Scoliosis Ireland Facebook page, which opens you up to whole community of people and an amazing support system.

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What are your words to live by?

This year I’ve travelled a lot, to various events around Ireland and also abroad. I don’t want my condition to limit what I can do. I may have to take extra careful with my movements and make sure I have pain medicine to travel but once I’m doing what I love I’m at my happiest. I have one life, so I tell myself just go out there and make the most of it! My motto is #BentNotBroken.

What’s in the pipeline for you for 2017?

In 2017, first and foremost I hope to be pain free. Aside from that, I plan to document the rest of my scoliosis journey on social media to help raise awareness, including appointments with my surgeon and the run up to the operation and afterwards. I’ll also be starting a series of monthly features on the blog, sharing stories of Scoliosis Survivors. I’m just very happy where things are going.

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To share your scoliosis story with Ciara, contact her on ciaraswalsh@gmail.com or get in touch via her blog!

Wanna be a part of #MyBlogLife? It runs online weekly and in the magazine monthly, too. To be considered, you need to have a personal blog. Join STELLAR’s Facebook group, open to all personal bloggers, or drop an email to info@stellar.ie, telling us why we should feature you.

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