Cade Pressnell had been playing tennis since he was six years old. He spent his youth competing in tournaments throughout his home state of Alabama. By the time he was in the eighth grade, he was the number one ranked tennis player in his school. But as he entered his freshman year, everything began to change.

“I started feeling that pain, and I could only go for thirty to forty five minutes if that. That’s all my lungs would allow me, I couldn’t breathe as well, I’d run out of breath real easily.”

Pressnell was diagnosed with scoliosis when he was in the fifth grade, but when he hit puberty, it accelerated, “The x-rays came back and we saw that it was getting worse, it was compressing on my lungs, it was becoming a hazard.”

Without correction, it could even have been fatal. Pressnell needed surgery, but the standard procedure done by doctors in his area would have ended his tennis career, “All I had been hearing for like a month is you know we’re going to have to cut all the muscles in your back, you’re going to have to have six months to a year recovery and you’re going to have to lay in bed and not do anything.”