It’s the kind of thing you might expect to see on the Lifetime Channel on a Sunday night. Opening credits roll as the camera follows a little girl, bent by the scoliosis that curves her spine. Following her through the awkwardness of growing up, we see her undergo spinal fusion surgery by the time she’s hit 20. Her back now straight, thanks to some permanent metal hardware, she is well on her way to recovery. We see shot after shot of a happy young woman doing the things she’s always hoped to do: fishing, hiking and climbing around the San Francisco Bay area she’s lived all her life. And in what we expect to be the end of the movie, there is an extended wide shot as we see her finishing the second of her two marathons, wrapped in warm embrace by family and friends. Just look how far she’s come. Smiles widen and the credits roll. But that’s not how Sara Smith’s story goes to break. This is real life and, in real life, stuff happens. A break in the action Out there, living her life, Sara is an ER Technician and she is not close to running out of mountains to climb. Emboldened by her many physical accomplishments, she took on new challenges: like some things that didn’t hurt… and dirt bikes. Ultimately, it wasn’t a fair fight. She took a rough spill, breaking a bolt on the spinal brace she’d had since the fusion surgery. The metal was repaired but the flesh was not so lucky. Her severe pain led to increased medication and decreased mobility. Numerous treatments followed: sacroiliac joint injections, more meds, physical therapy…and yet, no relief. Soon she would no longer be able to lead the active outdoor and social life that had come to define her, limiting her interaction with her young children and friends. Eventually, even the 30-minute car ride to visit her parents proved overwhelming. It all came to be much too much, isolating her from the people and activities she loved. “Emotionally, it’s depressing —33 and I should be active, but I can’t take my kids places,” she said. She felt her young body aging far beyond her years, with constant aching and throbbing that forced her to retire to the couch for days at a time. You want many things for the star of this story, but chronic pain is certainly not one of them. None of this was in the original script.