Khloee’s journey: Overcoming scoliosis with courage and cheer

May 22, 2024, 6:00 AM

Khloee Camberlango after receiving a surgery for her scoliosis....

Khloee Camberlango after receiving a surgery for her scoliosis. (KSL TV)


Money raised from the Give-a-thon helps fund the research that helps kids like Khloee. We hope you will give generously to support the work being done on behalf of the children. The Give-a-Thon will be Thursday May 23rd, but you can begin donating now at

SALT LAKE CITY  Khloee Camberlango, a spirited 9-year-old, was living life to the fullest — cheering, hanging out with friends, and embracing every moment.

But then her back began to bother her.

One of Khloee’s cheerleading teammates noticed her uneven ribs and curved spine during practice, and this prompted concern from her family.

Khloee’s life took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with scoliosis, a condition where the spine curves abnormally. She was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital where she could be treated. The treatment for scoliosis involves either bracing or surgery, depending on the degree of curvature.

Khloee was initially advised to wear a brace for 16 hours a day. However, the discomfort made it challenging to sleep and attend school.

Despite her best efforts, Khloee’s scoliosis progressed rapidly, necessitating surgery.

The news of surgery was daunting for the family, especially considering Khloee’s love for cheerleading and the uncertainties in her recovery, but they decided to move forward with it.

University of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital’s Dr. John Smith presented an option to the family called vertebral body tethering (VBT), a fairly new procedure that utilizes a child’s own growth as a driving force to correct spinal curvature while still preserving motion and function of the spine.

The surgery was a success, and after a few days in the hospital, Khloee was able to recover at home.

 After an extensive recovery period, she was finally cleared to return to cheerleading. Her coach helped her relearn the routines.

She now looks forward to competing in major cheerleading events and enjoying the freedom of movement she has.

The Camberlangos are grateful to Primary Children’s Hospital for the expertise, compassion, and commitment to helping her heal. They believe the care at the hospital made all the difference in helping Kholee feel better again.

Read the full story at

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Khloee’s journey: Overcoming scoliosis with courage and cheer