BRAVE Imogen Bridge used to be able to do cartwheels, forward rolls, roly poly and touch her toes, but now she can only bend her back 45 degrees.

The 12-year-old, from Bacup, has scoliosis - a condition which causes her spine to have a sideways curve.

It was 18 months ago when Imogen first noticed something was wrong and an x-ray at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital revealed a curve of about 13 degrees.

The last x-ray, taken five months later at Alder Hey, showed a 39-40 degree curve and her spine was forming a corkscrew.

But determined Imogen is not letting her condition stop her and her mum Melly has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for a special brace to be made and for therapy from a London specialist centre.

And on Sunday Imogen and Melly will travel to London Orthotics Consultancy for her to be measured for the special brace and to learn more about Schroth Therapy.

This will involve 12-year-old Imogen carrying out daily exercises to strengthen her weakened muscles, improve her posture and the exercises will work in tandem with the special brace which will try to straighten her back as she grows.

Mum Melly said: “We have been to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and she has been measured for an NHS brace. Although they have been very good with Imogen, they measured her three weeks ago, but the brace has still not been fitted because there is no one to fit it.

“Given how much her curve has been increasing, it could be another eight degrees since it was measured and that brace would also only hold the curve in place.

“I researched alternatives and found out that in America people go to a Schroth practitioner and do physical therapy. They also get fitted with a Gensingen brace, this is as a corrective means of pushing the curve and straightening the body up.”

However the London treatment and brace is expensive and the fundraising page has been set-up to try to raise £3,500.

The brace will be fitted in London in a fortnight and will need to be worn for 23 hours a day and so Imogen has changed her style to wear baggy clothing so it will be more discreet. She will also need a double bed to accommodate the brace.

Her clothes have had to be adjusted because her shoulders are no longer straight and when walking up a hill she walks with one foot flat and the other on tiptoe. Her condition also causes her difficulties with sleeping.

Although her curvature is considered ‘moderate’ – it needs to be 55 degrees plus to warrant an operation – Melly and Paul are determined to give their middle daughter the best chance of avoiding an operation.

Melly added: “I know she will not be able to do cartwheels again, but I hope she will avoid surgery, be able to have a bath again without getting out of breath and not to feel sick in the morning.”

To support Imogen visit