San Diego Spine Foundation


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Patient Stories

Ultimately, all of our research activities lead to improved patient treatment and outcomes. In this new area of our website, we will introduce you to personal patient stories related to the Foundation's activities.

A Requiem for Nathan - The Nathan Centre

Nathan Garcia Requiem

2019 Annual Report featured a patient story about Nathan Garcia, a courageous young man who had suffered from a severe spine deformity secondary to cardiopulmonary issues discovered shortly after birth.  Despite every obstacle he and his mother faced, he remained optimistic and joyful. Sadly, the world lost Nathan in September 2021 and it will forever be a different place without his infectious, happy spirit.
The Nathan Centre - A Requiem for Nathan

Michael's Story - Thanks For Fixing Me

Michael 2022 Website

I am Michael and I simply would not have much of a life without Dr. Robert Eastlack. However, the story leading to how Dr. Eastlack made such a dramatic improvement in my life is not so simple.
Read Michael's Story: Thank You For Fixing Me


Camila's Story - The Undercover Superhero


Meet Camila. From the day that the Global Spine Outreach (GSO) team first casted her, and more recently crowned her in her Halo-Gravity wheelchair, she has shown us that princesses can truly be undercover superheroes.
Read Camila's Story.


Miles' Story

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On my second visit with Dr. Eastlack, I stated that he reminded me of Benjamin Hawkeye Pierce, the U.S. Army surgeon in the TV series “MASH”. The explanation for my statement: Dr. Eastlack exuded a confidence in his abilities as a spine surgeon, which gave me great confidence in those abilities.  Read Miles' Story.

Jenn's Story


Have you ever been told you can’t do something? Jenn’s story is especially dear to San Diego Spine Foundation. You’ll find Jenn acknowledged at the end of the 2019  Annual Report, as she has been for years, as an important volunteer for our organization. Read Jenn's Story.

Nathan's Story


Diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (half a heart) at birth, and with Early Onset Scoliosis at 3, no one expected Nathan's story of courage and determination. Nathan's story is one of courage and inspiration that we can all make a difference. Read Nathan's Story.

Jennifer's Story

Jennifer 2018 Annual Report

Diagnosed with scoliosis as a teenage, Jennifer underwent bracing treatment for the condition. Today, she is active in humanitarian work around the world and uses her nursing skills to make a diffference. Read Jennifer's Story.

Keely's Story

Keely 2018 Annual Report

Diagnosed with scoliosis as a teenager, Jennifer was treated with bracing. Later, the advance of the condition resulted in the need for serious surgery. Read her message that "Challenges are NOT Limitations."   Keely's Story.

Nancy's Story

Nancy 2018 Annual Report

Adult Onset Scoliosis and arthritis created serious challenges in Nancy's life. Today's advanced treatment options allow her to continue to enjoy an active and contributing lifestyle. Read her story

Jack's Story

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True happiness is what's in your heart, not what you look like or how good of an athlete you are. A family's journey. Perseverance and Faith.

Florence's Story

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Get to know your potential surgeon, build a relationship and ask questions. Follow all discharge instructions, such as wearing a bone stimulator after surgery. These will help
guide you to the best possible recovery. Tips for those considering spine surgery: YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR TREATMENT, so don’t be afraid to be assertive and be your own advocate!

Karen's Story

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Building Bridges in Mexico. Karen's story is no different than any teenager with idiopathic scoliosis, except that in her case, treatment could remain only a dream. Read Karen's story here.

Lori's Story


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 How does a spine surgeon end up walking a patient down the aisle? Hint... It isn't because she needs help. Lori's story tells us about love and the way our lives can change in a moment..., for better and for worse. Read Now.

Alejandra's Story

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Alejanda had been seen by a local physician who told her father there was nothing he could do, and she should stop all physical activity due to risk of injury to her spine. Nothing else was offered and her father was devastated and hopeless. Read Alejandra's story.

Marina's Story

Marina Splits

The story of Marina's life and surgery is an inspiration to everyone who reads it. Learn how perseverance, determination, and drive have shaped Marina's life and character. Read Now.


Colbie's Story

Colbie Story

“YOU’RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE.” These are the first words we heard from Dr. Akbarnia and words we
will never forget. They immediately lifted a huge weight off of our shoulders and gave us hope for
our daughter after two years of uncertainty. Read Colbie's Story

Chuck's Story


No one wants to stop being active and healthy, especially not Chuck. After trying and failing virtually all non-surgical treatment methods, I finally began gathering information from surgeons, and I had surgery scheduled already when he came to meet Dr. Donald Blaskiewicz and Dr. Gregory Mundis, Jr.  Chuck's Story

Anthony's Story

Anthony's Story
Anthony Wainess was one of the two patients implanted with the MCGR rods on May 7th, 2013. We asked Anthony’s father, if he would be willing to sit down and help us write a story about his experience. Steve Wainess went on to write an incredibly honest and poignant story about his son’s difficult path and how the MCGR procedure changed and altered his life.
Anthony's Story (Growing Rods in Early Onset Scoliosis)