Founder of Higgy Bears
Hi! My name is Lauren, and I am the founder of Higgy Bears, a nonprofit organization based in the US. I make special teddy bears for kids and teens with scoliosis. I handmake mini back braces for the bears to wear for kids that are bracing. I also sew rods into their backs for patients, like me, that have had scoliosis surgery. They are a little friend where one didn’t exist to help the child through their scoliosis treatment.
I was inspired to make Higgy Bears by my own experience growing up with scoliosis. I was diagnosed when I was 13 years old. I never wore a brace but had a rib hump on my back that I was very self-conscious of. I never knew anyone else like me and felt incredibly alone. I felt like I was the only person in the world with scoliosis. I hid it from my friends and was terrified that someone would notice. It greatly affected my self-esteem as a kid.
As an adult, I finally met someone else with scoliosis. I felt a huge sense of relief knowing that I wasn’t alone anymore. It is that feeling that I hope to share with kids that receive a Higgy Bear.
I have made over 20,000 Higgy Bears that have made their way to 130 countries. I have had the pleasure of getting to know thousands of kids with scoliosis and their parents and help guide them through their scoliosis journey. One common theme seems to exist among the people that I have talked to. The kids and teens still feel a sense of isolation in their scoliosis diagnosis. Their Higgy Bear helps, but a connection is still needed for kids that is often not happening.
I started ScoliZooms to help kids meet others going through the same thing. Kids all over the world meet every other week on Zoom. We talk and support one another. We also plays lots of fun scoliosis themed games! It really helps kids to know that they are not alone. I highly recommend getting your kids and teens involved. You can email me at email@example.com to register. The Scolios-us Mentor Program is also another support program that I highly recommend.
To learn more about Higgy Bears, please visit www.higgybears.com and follow Higgy Bears on Facebook & Instagram. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, or if there is anything I can do to help. Always remember, we may be bent, but we are not broken!
Happy Scoliosis Awareness Month!