12-year-old aspiring model overcoming scoliosis gets surprise photoshoot at Shriners Hospital

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – On Tuesday morning, 12-year-old Rylee walked into Dress Up boutique and got the surprise of her life — a photoshoot and a chance to be a model for the day, which has been a dream of hers for the past year.

The photoshoot was a surprise organized by her care team at Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville. They set up a day full of shopping with the help from a team of stylists at Dress Up, a boutique located in Downtown Greenville. Rylee got the chance to celebrate her new found confidence after living with Scoliosis for the past 10 years.

When she was just 14 months old, Rylee began showing signs of progressive Infantile Scoliosis.

She’s had more than 25 Mehta castings, 5 braces and a life changing surgery that left her with two rods in her in her body, which helped straighten her spine tremendously.

“She went from a 97 degree curve to a 33 degree curve and has a straight spine now,” Jennifer Pearson, development officer for Shriners Hospital for Children of Greenville, said.

This remarkable recovery has also given Rylee a confidence boost.

“Before my spine was really crooked and I definitely wasn’t as confident as I am now,” Rylee, a Shriners Hospital patient, said.

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Last year, Rylee spent her holidays inside the hospital. Most recently the care team received a letter from her expressing how grateful she was for everything they do for her.

The team at the hospital decided to show appreciation for Rylee this holiday season by giving her a photoshoot and the chance to start on on her dream of becoming a model.

“When I was a toddler I used to wear Disney princess dresses and dress up all the time and I also really liked Hello Kitty. I wanted to be a model for about a year now,” Rylee said.

After choosing her favorite outfits she then participated in a photoshoot, which the hospital plans to use on the cover of their Thanksgiving cards for this holiday season.

Shriners Hospital for Children of Greenville said this is just the kickstart to a holiday season full of giving. They plan to collect toys to give to children in the hospital so if you’d like to get involved, learn more.

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