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The World According to Kaitlyn

Model and Athlete, Kaitlyn Boyle, has a lot to say about balancing life as a teenage model, growing up with juvenile idiopathic scoliosis, and living life to the fullest.

An athletic teenage model with the beauty and drive for success is the perfect description to give Kaitlyn Boyle. Boyle is currently residing in Longwood, Florida. She is 5’11 and a sophomore in high school, a model under Modern Muse in Orlando as well as for Freedom Models LA and The Syndical in Miami, Florida...not to mention that she is a volleyball player for the Aspire Higher Volleyball Club.

“I started volleyball when I was in second grade so I was around eight,” said Boyle. “I enjoyed the fact that it was fast paced and that the ball was always moving and I also liked how my height came in handy while playing.”

She was first scouted for modeling at a nationals volleyball competition when she was 13, which she never thought about as something she was ever really interested in or knew about. At the time, the scout who approached Boyle was Beth Boldt of Next Management from New York, who happened to be the photographer who discovered Naomi Campbell back in the 1980s.

“She said I was good for New York modeling and I was too young for that, so we decided to try out a local agency for starters,” said Boyle. “I was signed at the age of 14 with Modern Muse in Orlando and started off with test shoots and getting comfortable in front of a camera first.”

Shortly after she signed with them, Boyle got her first job at Pakistani Fashion Week, where she got to walk for designers wearing Pakistani wedding outfits.

“It was really crazy and I was so nervous that at one point I was crying to my mom telling her I couldn't do it, but luckily, I pulled through and ended up loving it,” she expressed. “I learned that day how hard a runway show really was and how it wasn’t a simple catwalk.”

Behind the scenes, Boyle mentioned that it is really hectic, however, the end result was an amazing show. She would love to do more runway shows as she believes they suit her. Although she enjoys walking down the runway, Boyle enjoys photoshoots as well.

“My favorite project was a shoot in which me and another model got to go down into a clay pit and take photos in vintage outfits such as an old nightgown and fur,” she said. “At one point I even asked if I could lay down in the clay for a picture. It was really out there and different but I loved every second of it and am waiting to see pictures from it.”

At times, Boyle said she struggles with doing poses that are somewhat different and consist of a lot of movement. She said she is not a very good dancer and has a lot of photographers tell her to pretend she is dancing, which always makes her laugh.

“I think I’ve started to become more comfortable and realized that sometimes the weirder the pose feels, the better it looks on photos,” said Boyle.

Tina, Boyle’s mother also gives her unconditional support in everything she does. All the way from the volleyball court to the runway. She is also a mother to Boyle’s two older brothers who are in college.

“For me, I think it was a little different than it may be for some moms, because of Kaitlyn’s background with her scoliosis,” said Tina about the time Boyle was scouted by Boldt at the volleyball game.“When she was 11, I worried that she was facing a lifetime of pain and difficulty with her spine, then we made a really scary decision for her surgery, and luckily it went well.”

Tina continued, “And then to have someone pick her out of hundreds of girls at a volleyball event just brought tears to my eyes because I think it was at that moment that it really hit me that scoliosis was not going to be defining her anymore.”

Boyle was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic scoliosis when she was nine. She said she had to wear a night time brace for over two years.

“But then we found out the scoliosis was getting worse and they gave me a full time brace – which I hated,” she said, “Since my doctor was already talking about spinal fusion surgery, my mom started looking into alternatives and she found out about Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT), which was only being done by a few doctors in the world at the time.”

Boyle and her mother decided it was the right plan for her. Therefore, she and her parents traveled to Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she had the surgery two weeks before she turned 12. Boyle stated that the first couple of weeks were really tough, but once she was out for a few weeks, she was back to normal and playing volleyball six weeks post operation.

“My mom and I did a lot of online support for other kids across the world for the first year or so after my surgery, helping them learn about the surgery and what to expect,” said Boyle. “I talked to a lot of other girls who were scared and needed someone to talk to who had already been through it.”

Boyle was even invited by the FDA to go to Washington DC and speak to a group of surgeons from all over the country to tell them about her outcomes. She felt it to be a great opportunity because she got to witness other kids who had different treatments for scoliosis. In addition, it was confirmed that the choice Boyle and her family made for her surgery was the correct choice for her.

“I am now a part of a study working with the FDA and with Shriners Hospital and that has been a great experience because I know that my experience will help other kids with scoliosis,” she expressed.

As of now, Boyle plans on graduating a year early from high school and taking college classes along with her high school classes next semester. Her goal is to attend the University of Central Florida (UCF) to pursue a medical degree and become a radiologist.

“With the year I am taking off of high school, I hope to either be placed somewhere for modeling or to start college early,” she said. “I would really love to travel, especially to somewhere like Japan, and I think modeling might give me that opportunity before I get focused into college.”

Boyle also said that if she was offered an athletic scholarship, she is not sure she would take it because her hopes are to receive an academic scholarship. Another reason is because she does not want volleyball to start feeling like a job.

“I love the sport and have seen how playing for a school makes it become a job instead of fun,” said Boyle.

Boyle’s ultimate goal in life and what she wants to get out of everything she does is to be able to have experiences and not feel like she’s wasted her life.

“I don’t want to grow old and think about all the things I didn’t get to do and how I sat around or lived a repetitive life,” she said. “I would like a spontaneous life and hope to achieve this by traveling and getting to see more of the world.”

“I just want Kaitlyn to have an amazing life,” said Tina. “She is so smart, so of course I want her to follow her dream of going to medical school, but along the way if she has opportunities to also model, I think that experience is well worth it.”

Photo Editorial by Rose R. Anduxar, Makeup Artist: Karla Ayala, Production Assistants: Sara Helterman & Tina Boyle AT Blue Iris Acres

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