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Published April 12, 2012, 08:58 PM

Devils Lake Family Using Daughter's Life-threatening Diagnosis to Raise Awareness

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Ten-year-old Macey Eback is facing a potentially life-threatening medical disorder. But her and her family are getting help from the community and raising awareness of a hidden danger they didn't find until it was almost too late.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Ten-year-old Macey Eback is facing a potentially life-threatening medical disorder. But her and her family are getting help from the community and raising awareness of a hidden danger they didn't find until it was almost too late.

Macey looks like your average kid. Nobody suspected a problem until this past February.

"She was complaining about some shoulder pain. We took her in. We rubbed her back and it seemed like there was kind of a mass there and in the x-rays you could see that her spine was curved," Macey's dad Jamey Eback said.

Macey has such severe scoliosis that her spine is pressing against her shoulder blade. But that's far from the worst result that can come from the condition.

"Macey's at 77 degree curve right now and if it gets to 90 or above, a higher curve like that could start compressing the lungs and eventually cause a cardiac arrest because you're not getting enough oxygen to your hear," Jamey Eback said.

When Central Middle School principal Josh Johnson found out one of his students is facing such a daunting challenge, he sprung into action.

"We knew that after hearing from the students and the teachers that we wanted to step in and help her and also help her family," Johnson said.

The school is hosting a silent auction Friday night to help cover medical expenses for the family. Macey's mother Jennifer says it helps because she doesn't have time to worry about finances.

"The bills will be there when we get home. I'm not worried about them. I open them up, I glance, and I set them aside. I need to focus on Macey and the other children we have right now," Jennifer Eback said.

The school is also selling t-shirts and buttons to help raise awareness for scoliosis. Even though Macey is going through a tough time herself, she's using her struggle to help others.

"It would make the world a better place in that people so that people won't have to go through what I'm going through," Macey said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, scoliosis is most common among girls between the ages of nine and 15.

Macey Eback will have spinal fusion surgery in Minneapolis next Tuesday.

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