• Scarlett Aylen

My Berlin Blockade

I found my own Berlin Blockade. Travel insurance. Not too bad for most. Slightly worse for the elderly. An absolute nightmare for people with medical conditions classed as ‘high risk’.

For my friends, a hefty £200 will cover them for the trip I am going on. For me however: ‘that’ll be over £600 please. No hard feelings but even though you are a young healthy person, all medical conditions are fully controlled and therefore you are at no extra risks, you still have to pay a massive premium because of things that are not your fault. On top of this, we would like to charge you another premium to allow you to do extra things to challenge yourself, that you never thought would be possible, so you can set up a not for profit for this reason, but pay for the privilege. Sorry about this, but you are an insurance claim waiting to happen’.

Never once have I ended up needing medical attention abroad for any medical condition I have. I will not deny that maybe one day I might need related medical attention, but if I fall down and break something, I was at equal risk to my friend doing the exact same thing. The only times I have landed myself in a foreign hospital was when I was poisoned in a third world country (alongside everyone else with me) then in Madrid when I walked through the hospital to the metro station which doesn’t really count.

All I want to do is to be like other people. To do exciting things that my friends can do (to a certain extent that is! I am going to try to resist the urge to skydive and potentially break my neck on landing even though I wish I could experience falling through the sky at high speed) I want to show myself and everyone that supports me that I can do so many things despite barriers, and that they follow in example.

After sitting in my lounge, very upset, that having scoliosis requiring a spinal fusion has put a more expensive price tag on fun activities, I remembered this is the exact reason I am setting up RCASs.

I reminded myself that I am going on this trip to find all the problems and solutions associated with RCASs’ goals, to send young people who have recovered from scoliosis surgery abroad to volunteer. If I didn’t go travelling like I am doing in the new year, or experience these issues-like travel insurance- I would never find out these things that I need to know before I get my organisation up and running.

I feel like I literally have to pay for happiness and experiences to challenge myself because of things I have no control over. RCASs is there to remove these barriers, like the exact one I am facing today: it can be removed, but at a cost. I want to be able to sit down in the future and know that RCASs has removed every barrier possible, at no cost for the young person. It shouldn’t be the case.

On a final note, I am very grateful to all the people who have helped me with setting up RCASs so far, and I hope it will achieve everything I want it to and to he. People like me in the future.

Thank you, Scarlett.


Recovering Confidence After Scoliosis surgery is a new not for profit organisation, founded by Scarlett Aylen in 2018.

 2018 Recovering Confidence After Scoliosis Surgery RCASs. Scarlett Aylen. The United Kingdom.