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Health Check: Curvy Girls

Melissa Keller was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 6. (WJAR)

Local families are raising awareness and money to further support for girls with scoliosis.

More than 3 million children, mostly girl, are diagnosed with curvature of the spine every year.

Most cases are mild, but for some it's quality of life changing and requires medical interventions.

Emotional support is so important, and that’s why Curvy Girls was formed. The national organization features chapters in many states that bring families together in the name of support.

"It's important," said 11-year-old Melissa Keller, who was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 6.

Since that diagnosis, she has worn a brace 16 hours a day total -- one at night and one during the day.

"When I first started it, I had a 49 degree curve,” Keller said. "That's really bad. So, if it got to 50, I would've gotten surgery."

Her fellow Curvy Girl, Hannah Rotundo, wasn't so lucky. She required extensive surgery.

"You don't have to have scoliosis to know about having a challenge and how support is important and how art and music can help heal you and help connect you with others," said Jon Keller, Melissa’s father, a musician who plays the ukulele.

Father and daughter co-wrote a song a few years ago called "Curvy Girl," which has become a sort of theme song for the organization and it will be performed at an upcoming fundraiser to raise money for the Curvy Girls in Rhode Island to travel to the national convention this summer.

"It's important because you get to just bring together all these girls and just have fun," said Melissa of the convention. She also, like dad, recently started playing the ukulele.

The fundraiser, which will feature a number of musical acts, will be held at 7 p.m. on May 5 at Dean's List Academy in Pawtucket.

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