One Family's Scoliosis Journey
with Jodi Wilks-Butters and Avery Butters
For the Butters family, the punch that knocked the wind out of their lungs was a diagnosis of severe idiopathic scoliosis for their eleven-year-old daughter Avery. The only viable treatment option was spinal fusion surgery. It was a terrifying prospect to stare down. Frustrated with the lack of information on what the family would actually experience, Avery’s mother, Jodi, started a family blog.
It was there that Avery, Jodi, and Andrew would share their thoughts and experiences about the journey in real time. Jodi was determined that if there were other families searching for this information that we would be able to provide it.
When it was all said and done and the blog came to its rightful conclusion the writer in Andrew felt that if the blog was so successful at spreading the message then surely there were other ways to help spread the word. Surely there were experiences they lived through that taught them lessons that applied beyond Avery’s scoliosis.
Bent But Not Broken is a heartfelt journey of a girl and her family as they navigate the healthcare system from diagnosis to surgery and beyond. Follow them as they use their own words in blog posts and through an emotional and gripping narrative that puts you by their side through all the ups and downs, challenges and successes, of an experience that changed their lives and taught them that compassion and love builds strong communities, even stronger families, and that true strength comes from the most unlikely sources.
Andrew Butters is the one who came up with the idea of turning the family blog chronicling their personal struggle with scoliosis to help other families through their own. Avery Butters was born in 2002 and diagnosed with severe idiopathic scoliosis in 2014 at the age of 11 after a routine exam. This is her story. Her younger brother, AJ Butters, was born in 2006, and was the reason Avery’s condition was uncovered. Jodi Wilks-Butters has been a public servant since 1996 and the original blog that gave rise to Bent But Not Broken was her idea. They all live in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada with their three cats.