Hannah, the young niece of photographer Julia Cybularz, is fitted for a back brace in this photo from Cybularz's "Breaking the Girl" project. For several years, Cybularz documented Hannah's struggle with idiopathic scoliosis.
Hannah's first portrait in a brace. Hoping to avoid surgery, she would wear one for 23 hours out of the day.
A close-up of Cybularz's spine. She, like Hannah, has scoliosis. But she refused to wear a brace as a child and never had surgery.
Hannah would have to get fitted for a new brace every nine months.
Hannah would keep the brace a secret from her classmates. "What does it feel like," Cybularz asked, "to go through puberty under this veil of secrecy by wearing a brace that hides you?"
Hannah holds an accordion-like corset.
Hannah would only take off the brace for an hour a day to take a bath.
Hannah takes a break from her brace.
In 2013, Hannah found out that the braces had failed to help her condition. Her only option was surgery. This is the incision from the procedure.