Signed in as:
July 27th- 29th, 2024
$200 Per Person
(5 Minutes From O'Hare International Airport in Chicago!)
Higgy-Con 2023 was absolutely incredible and 2024 will be even better! It will be located in Rosemont, IL (5 minute drive from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.) Higgy-Con 2024 will be 3 days of fun, love, education and support.
Saturday, July 27th- Monday, July 29th, 2024
Convention Hours TBA. We will be ending Monday around noon so that families do not need a hotel room Monday night. I'll have updates on the hours of the convention soon.
Details on nighttime activities to be announced soon!
$200 Per Person
$100 deposit per person requirement to secure your spot. The remaining balance needs to be paid within 60 days.
Fundraising is recommended to help cover ticket costs. Many families have set up GoFundMes and covered all or part of their costs that way.
Here is an example fundraiser I set up for you that you can use the wording and pictures from!
You can link this Higgy-Con YouTube video in your fundraiser:
If you are wondering about the ticket cost, 2023 was a huge success, but we had to pay a lot of it out of mine and & Gary's personal account. We were trying to keep the cost down for you, but didn't charge enough to cover all of the costs, which cannot happen again.
Food and hotel not included.
Hilton Rosemont/Chicago O"Hare
5550 N. River Road
Rosemont, Illinois 60018
Link to reserve hotel: https://www.hilton.com/en/attend-my-event/higgybearconvention2024/
(5 Minute Drive From Chicago O'Hare Airport.)
Dr. Samdani is a world-renowned surgeon coming to us from Shriners Children's in Philadelphia. Families travel from all over the world to meet with Dr. Samdani. I am so honored that he will be attending Higgy-Con!
After completing his fellowship, Amer Samdani, M.D., joined the staff at Shriners Children's Philadelphia in 2005. He specializes in the care of children with spine issues and is passionate about finding innovative ways to improve care. Fusionless strategies to treat children, such as vertebral body tethering, have been a major focus of his clinical work. He believes working at Shriners Children's is the ideal place to practice medicine as one gets to work with the best colleagues and patients without being hindered by a patient's ability to pay. Dr. Samdani says that the unique mission of Shriners Children's provides him a lot of job satisfaction and fulfillment.
Outside of clinical practice, Dr. Samdani is very active in research and education. He sits on the executive committee of the Harms Study Group and is a board member of the Pediatric Spine Study Group. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles and given over 100 invited lectures/Grand Rounds presentations.
Marissa is an expert physical therapist specializing in Schroth Therapy and Scoliosis Specific Exercise Programs.
She was one of the very first C2 level certified therapists in the US for the 3 dimensional treatment of scoliosis via the Barcelona Scoliosis Physiotherapy School.
Marissa not only treats the physical side of scoliosis, but the emotional side, as well. She empowers patients and their families and guides them through their scoliosis journey. She is a patient advocate and is constantly volunteering and helping families through this journey. She will be hosting workshops with parents in smaller groups that will allow you to share your stories and learn from one another's experiences.
Marissa is not only an expert in the field of scoliosis, but she is the absolutely kindest human being. She will be running the parent side of Higgy-Con while I attend to the kids/teens!
Megan is a bracing expert coming to us from Align Clinic in Texas. She is also the founder of Scolios-us, a web-based platform intended to empower patients with the tools and resources they need to be successful along their scoliosis journey.
She enjoys working with neuromuscular and orthopedic patients and has a particular passion for pediatric scoliosis patients. This passion drove her to study under Grant Wood during her residency and earn her WCR Brace certification.
While she loves dissecting scoliosis biomechanically, Megan equally enjoys coaching her patients through the bracing process. Her desire to revamp how healthcare practitioners approach the psychological side of scoliosis care ultimately led her to start Scolios-us, LLC. She founded Scolios-us in 2016 with two goals in mind: Helping scoliosis patients transition into bracing and helping clinicians nationwide address the emotional side of bracing.
Megan also works as an Instructor in the Orthotics and Prosthetics Department at Baylor College of Medicine.
Jonathan has over 20 years of expertise in Orthotics and Prosthetics, maintaining a primary focus on pediatric orthotics and specializing in the orthotic management of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Along with experience in patient care and clinic operations, he has held executive roles with major spinal brace manufacturers, running manufacturing/distribution, research and development, sales/ marketing, and business development.
In partnership with Children’s Hospital Boston, he led the development of specialized orthopedic devices from concept to introduction in patient care markets, including the prosecution of multiple patents, the design and execution of clinical trials, navigation through FDA and regulatory clearance, as well as all phases of product development, from design/ prototype to the manufacturing and distribution.
Jonathan’s clinical studies with surgeons from Children’s Hospital Boston and Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, resulted in the co-authoring of prominent publications in the journal of “Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery”, and “Journal of Craniofacial Surgery”.
Adriaan earned his undergraduate, master’s degree and PhD in physiotherapy from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. He is an adjunct faculty member at St. Ambrose University and the University of Nevada Las Vegas, teaching pain science. Adriaan has taught throughout the US and internationally for 25 years at numerous national and international manual therapy, pain science and medical conferences. He has authored and co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles related to spinal disorders and pain science. Adriaan completed his Ph.D. on pain neuroscience education and is the Director of the Therapeutic Neuroscience Research Group – an independent collaborative initiative studying pain neuroscience. Adriaan is a senior faculty, pain science director and vice-president of faculty experience for Evidence in Motion.
Dr. Zebracki is an amazing child psychologist at Shriners Children's Chicago. She has so generously offered to come and speak to families at Higgy-Con! She will speak about how to help your children emotionally through this tough diagnosis and scoliosis journey.
Kristian specializes in the treatment of pediatric scoliosis and spinal conditions. Using Rigo Cheneau principles, he custom designs, fabricates, and fits patients with braces at National Scoliosis Center’s Fairfax and Baltimore offices.
He graduated with a Masters of Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO) from UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. As a Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist, he worked in several pediatric centers, including Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, and Shriners Hospitals for Children in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Kristian has expanded his scoliosis knowledge by participating in events and training led by the world’s leading scoliosis experts. He participated in the BUFA hands-on Cheneau-brace workshop taught by Dr. Manuel Rigo, multiple International Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT) conferences, and the Scoliosis Research Society seminar. Currently, he is enrolled in the ISICO Master program which focuses on the principles and practice of scoliosis conservative treatment. He is also an active member of SOSORT.
Kristian also believes that educating others is an important piece of scoliosis patient care. To that end, he helps train our orthotist assistants, has been a guest instructor at the International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics in Tampa, Florida, and spreads scoliosis awareness to parent groups like Moms In Motion.
Dr. Andromeda Stevens, D.C. became a Doctor of Chiropracic in LA, CA, and has been in pracice for over 25 years.
She became a D.C. because she was inspired by her own scoliosis conditon. Her practice specializes in scoliosis using the Schroth Method and is Level II certified by Dr. Hans R. Weiss (the grandson of Schroth) as one of very few certified in the US in the original method.
Andromeda was introduced to Pilates in the early ’90s and was so inspired that she became a Pilates Method Alliance Gold Certified Teacher™ (13657 PMA# OR 10112 NPCT#). The profound results with her patients, as well as the inability to find quality Pilates Instructors for the Studio, led her to co-found in 2000 with Kelli Altounian in Los Angeles, The Pilates Sports Center Pilates Teacher Training Program, the Burn at the Barre Teacher Training Program and the Pilates Master Teacher Program with the mission of providing the highest standard of excellence in Pilates education.
Marc Moramarco, DC is the clinic director at Scoliosis 3DC, near Boston, with a focus on comprehensive Schroth Method instruction and the Cheneau-Gensingen Brace.
Dr. Marc’s involvement in the treatment of scoliosis goes back to early 2001 when he diagnosed his own little girl with scoliosis. His initial goal: to prevent his daughter from ever having surgery!
His journey began by inquiring with the biggest names in scoliosis treatment from all over the country. As a long-time chiropractor, he was focused on discovering alternative treatments for scoliosis, but with each call he’d come up empty. He also reached out to other practitioners that might provide insights, including PTs, engineers, research scientists, professors, and other chiropractors. Finally, a call to a former professor yielded the news that an exercise rehabilitation technique for scoliosis existed in Germany–a question he had asked his daughter’s spinal surgeon on day one.
Upon learning about the Schroth Method, Dr. Marc packed up the family for a trip to Germany to learn more. Now, his ties to the Schroth method are long and well-established.
In 2007, he became the first US practitioner to be officially certified at the Asklepios Katharina Clinic in Bad Sobernheim. In the early years he trained directly with Frau Christa Lehnert-Schroth, PT, Dr. Hans-Rudolf Weiss, Dr. Manuel Rigo, and Axel Hennes, PT.
Scoliosis 3DC was officially established more than sixteen years ago and offers a team approach to scoliosis management adding two more dedicated Schroth therapists who instruct and guide patients, both adolescent and adult, in scoliosis management all day long.
Dr. Marc is a long-time Schroth Best Practice Academy board member, the U. S. advanced instructor of Schroth Best Practice®. He’s provider, trainer, and North American distributor of the Cheneau-style Gensingen brace–the Schroth compatible brace designed by the grandson of Katharina Schroth. He’s an international lecturer on conservative scoliosis treatment, a co-author of many research articles on the conservative treatment of scoliosis and bracing scoliosis, a co-author, Dr. Hans-Rudolf Weiss and the late Christa Lehnert-Schroth, of “Schroth Therapy: Advancements in Conservative Scoliosis Treatment,” and author, lead editor and overseer of the publication Schroth’s Textbook of Scoliosis and Other Spinal Deformities as well as a founding member of SOSORT.
As a parent of a child with moderate to severe idiopathic scoliosis, Dr. Marc and his family experienced, firsthand, how the traditional system of scoliosis management has its limitations. As a result, Dr. Marc has made it his mission to guide scoliosis patients and their families with the objective of improving the lives of others in a warm, patient-centered environment.
Caroline is a spinal fusion warrior and patient advocate. In Summer 2023 her book Tangled in the Curves: Real Life with Idiopathic Scoliosis will be available to support and guide Scoliosis Warriors and their families. It shares the emotions and experiences of life with scoliosis, with and without corrective surgery, through an honest and relatable voice. Through research and interviews with fellow Warriors, this resource aims to help anybody with scoliosis feel less lost, alone, or scared.
Caroline was diagnosed with AIS at age 15 and wore a Charleston brace before undergoing spinal fusion. Since that diagnosis, her scoliosis has impacted every aspect of her life. Throughout her journey she noticed a gap in education and support - both particularly important for a condition that stays with you for life. She is passionate about sharing information to make other Warriors' journeys easier.
She will be discussing the transition from teenaged AIS to adult AIS, including the role of education and support.
Linda Cree, RN BSN, CPN, CCM has been a certified pediatric nurse for over 40 years. She received her associate's degree in nursing from Triton College followed by working as a nurse for two years at Rush Medical Center in Chicago. Ms. Cree completed her BSN at St. Francis University. She joined Shriners Children’s Chicago, starting in inpatient spine and spinal cord injury care, and then she moved to the clinic where she is now a nurse for the spine service. Linda excels in working with families who are new to spine care, evidenced by the many long term relationships developed with patients and their families who love “Nurse Linda.”
Cree has a passion for providing compassionate and quality care. One of her favorite parts of the job is helping and caring for patients and families. In her free time, she enjoys spending time on the beach and giving back to others. Linda grew up in Elmhurst, IL, and now resides in the west suburbs of Chicago. She is married and has four children; twin girls, and two boys. She also has two dogs. One of her favorite things about working at Shriners Children’s Chicago is the bond that she forms with patients and their families.
The CEO of Green Sun Medical, Jamie Haggard, will present about the rationale and development of the Whisper. The company’s goal was to make bracing compliance easier and more effective in ways that plastic corsets are limited. The Whisper is completely different type of treatment that provides continuous corrective pressure and is made from modular components that can be easily adjusted. Kids who have worn other plastic corsets and switched to the Whisper have said that they loved being able to move freely, breathe and eat easier and are able to wear it during hot weather. The secret success of the Whisper is how much it changes the relationship struggles between the parent and child about hours of compliance.
Joining Jamie to discuss her Whisper Experience will be Sueda and her mom Tami. Sueda was fitted for a Whisper in December of 2022 and continues to wear it. She was a diagnosed with a large curve and the surgeon recommended a fusion. A year and a half later after superior compliance and occasional increases to pressure on her Whisper, Suede’s curve has been reduced from a surgical indication and she is almost done growing.