Fifteen-year-old twin sisters Hadley and Delaney Robertson found an innovative way to turn a big obstacle into a life-changing opportunity for people, like them, who deal with scoliosis.
Both were diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12. Hadley’s more severe spinal curvature required her to wear a back brace for 18 hours a day total. Keeping track of how long Hadley had worn her brace in between breaks, as well as factoring in “banked time” from extra wear on previous days, proved tricky.
The girls, who live in Fort Lauderdale, turned to their smartphones to look for a solution that could help Hadley. And when they couldn’t find an app that tracked brace wear, they decided to create their own.
After researching the possibilities and collaborating with an app developer, Hadley and Delany launched BraceTrack – a time tracking app that shows users how long they have worn their brace as well as how many hours they have saved and can apply to future days.
But Hadley and Delany didn’t stop there.
In addition to creating an app that makes life easier for people with scoliosis, Hadley and Delaney are also raising money to help families that struggle to afford scoliosis treatment. A scoliosis brace can cost between $3,000 and $10,000. So, Hadley and Delaney started the Brace for Impact initiative to help pay for buying scoliosis braces for those in need.
Thanks to Hadley and Delaney’s drive and dedication, the Brace for Impact initiative has raised more than $150,000. And to put that critical support to good use in their community, the girls knew just where to turn.
Philanthropy is a family tradition for the Robertsons and through the years their family has partnered with the Community Foundation of Broward to help guide their local giving.
Hadley and Delaney, their brother, Peyton, and their parents, Shannon and Johnathan Robertson, all have charitable Funds at the Community Foundation. Grants from their Funds support Haiti relief efforts, education, help for disadvantaged youth, STEM enrichment scholarships, and much, much more. Now with the creation of the Brace for Impact Fund, Hadley and Delaney are teaming with the Community Foundation to help them make the biggest impact possible for children facing scoliosis.
The Community Foundation shepherds their charitable Fund – handling tax reporting and other financial duties – and helps guide their grantmaking. This year, their Charitable Fund Manager at the Community Foundation, Amanda Kah, has helped them create scoliosis support partnerships with the Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, Nicklaus Children’s Health System, and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
“The very same week we first described the initiative to Ms. Kah at the Community Foundation, she connected us to the Children's Diagnostic & Treatment Center and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, both of which ultimately partnered with Brace for Impact,” Delaney Robertson said. “We are so grateful to the Community Foundation for connecting Brace for Impact with organizations treating scoliosis patients in our community.”
“The involvement of the Community Foundation added instant credibility to the idea and their connections allowed Brace For Impact to grow much faster than otherwise would have been possible,” Hadley Robertson said.
The grants from Hadley and Delaney’s Fund enable more children to get the scoliosis treatment they need. And while Hadley no longer needs to wear a brace, she and her sister remain dedicated to helping make life better for children facing scoliosis.
“I have never met young people who understand philanthropy in such a sophisticated way. Their instinct to give back is so refreshing,” Amanda Kah said. “The Community Foundation is proud to be their philanthropy partner.”
Click here to see how Hadley and Delaney’s ingenuity and generosity got the attention of Good Morning America.
Here’s how you can support Brace for Impact:
Mail donations to:
Brace For Impact Initiative
c/o Community Foundation of Broward
910 East Las Olas Blvd., Suite 200
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
To learn how you can make a BOLD impact with a charitable Fund at the Community Foundation, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-761-9503.