Family of teenager with spinal condition fund-raising for life-changing surgery

Cheerleader Caitlin Bygrave, 17, from Norwich, who has scoliosis. Picture: Lee Bygrave

Cheerleader Caitlin Bygrave, 17, from Norwich, who has scoliosis. Picture: Lee Bygrave - Credit: Lee Bygrave

The mother of a teenager who has scoliosis is urging people to be aware of the spinal condition as they fundraise for life-changing surgery.

Sprowston primary school teacher, Lee Bygrave, whose 17-year-old daighter Caitlin has scoliosis. Pic

Sprowston primary school teacher, Lee Bygrave, whose 17-year-old daighter Caitlin has scoliosis. Picture: Sophie Wyllie - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Caitliln Bygrave, 17, from Blackwell Avenue in Sprowston, went to the doctors aged 16 after noticing physical changes in her body after seeing pictures from her Sprowston Community Academy leavers’ prom last summer.

The most recent X-ray of Caitlin Bygrave's spine. Picture: Lee Bygrave

The most recent X-ray of Caitlin Bygrave's spine. Picture: Lee Bygrave - Credit: Lee Bygrave

She was diagnosed with Isiopathic Scoliosis - a curvature of the spine which often develops during puberty - in December 2019.

The image of Caitlin Bygrave, then aged 16, in her prom dress in summer 2019 which led her to think

The image of Caitlin Bygrave, then aged 16, in her prom dress in summer 2019 which led her to think she had scoliosis. Picture: Lee Bygrave - Credit: Lee Bygrave

Her family started a £75,000 fundraiser in February, which has raised just over £29,000, so she could have an operation, known as Anterior Scoliosis Correction (ASC), in Barcelona.

Caitlin Bygrave, 17, from Sprowston in Norwich, who needs a life-changing operation for her scoliosi

Caitlin Bygrave, 17, from Sprowston in Norwich, who needs a life-changing operation for her scoliosis. Picture: Lee Bygrave - Credit: Lee Bygrave

The procedure would allow City College Norwich childcare student and budding primary school teacher Caitlin to carry on her favourite activities - cheerleading, gymnastics and street dance.

The group of parents who are hoping to ride 50 miles in a day around Norfolk for Caitlin Bygrave's s

The group of parents who are hoping to ride 50 miles in a day around Norfolk for Caitlin Bygrave's spinal operation. Picture: Lee Bygrave - Credit: Lee Bygrave


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While the operation was put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak the family received the encouraging news her two spinal curves had not got worse meaning surgery could happen next year.

Seven-year-old twin sisters Maisy (left) and Sophia Rounce, from Sprowston, who cut off some off the

Seven-year-old twin sisters Maisy (left) and Sophia Rounce, from Sprowston, who cut off some off their hair to rause money for Caitlin Bygrave's scoliosis operation fundraiser. Picture: Amy Rounce - Credit: Amy Rounce

Her mother, Lee Bygrave, 44, a Sprowston Infant School teacher, said: “There are so many children this affects. Had I known the signs of this we could have got in earlier. If you can spot the signs early enough there are techniques to make a difference.”

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She added she remembered telling her daughter to stop slouching a year before the diagnosis and wishes she had known the signs.

Mrs Bygrave added that Caitlin, who has a 13-year-old brother, has pain at times but said: “She is really positive.”

MORE: Teenager’s bid to raise £75,000 for spinal surgery so she can keep cheerleadingShe added the community support for the fundraiser has boosted the family.

One of the past fundraisers included a seven-year-old twin girls Maisy and Sophia Rounce, from Sprowston, who raised £385 by losing 10 inches each from their long hair.

Six of Mrs Bygrave’s school colleagues will walk 33km along the coast path from Wells to Cromer in a day dressed as cheerleaders in September and six parents of children she has taught are cycling 50 miles around Norfolk in one day.

Visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/KeepCaitlincheerleading, www.facebook.com/caitlinsscoliosisjourney, www.justgiving.com/fundraising/KeepCaitlincheerleading-coastalwalk

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