East Ham girl with spine condition to run in marathon

A young woman from East Ham overcame a painful spine condition so that she can train to run in the London Marathon 2012.

Chloe Banks, 24, was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 13, a severe back condition that causes the spine to excessively curve sideways which can lead to fatal heart and lung problems.

She had to wear a back brace for 23 hours a day throughout her teenage years to prevent the problem from getting worse. At 17, Chloe was allowed to remove the brace and later entered a career in marketing but, determined to keep fit and healthy, she attends the gym on a daily basis.

Chloe, from Cotswold Gardens, said: “As a young professional I wanted to excel in my career and had a real passion for toning up in the gym. But my daily life had become a struggle. My back pain was relentless, I was in continual agony.”

Despite being told that she would only get better with a major operation, Chloe’s relentless exercise regime, which she devised with a specialised clinic called the Scoliosis SOS clinic, and her refusal to let her back pain affect her goals means she managed to stabilise her condition and significantly increased her lung capacity.

Chloe said: “My self-esteem hit rock bottom when I was diagnosed with scoliosis – it is great to be standing much taller and straighter.

“But above all I have been able to beat the back pain which was controlling every aspect of my life. I am so excited that I am able to return to work and now have the ability to train for a marathon run.”

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Chloe is currently training hard to run in the London Marathon 2012 and hopes that her story inspires other people to do the same as scoliosis affects just over four percent of the population.

She added: “I am desperate to raise the awareness of scoliosis and the treatment options available.”