"Once I got to know Dr. Hasley more, I realized there was nothing to be scared of," she wrote in her notebook. "I believe it was the Lord who brought Dr. Hasley in my life and between my faith in God and Dr. Hasley, I didn't feel scared!"
The 10-hour surgery felt like five minutes to Rachel. Waking up in a room full of friends from Curtis and family from across the state made the pain a little easier to bear. Also, the fact that there were other children at the hospital with illnesses much worse kept Rachel and her parents grateful, said her mother.
The surgery was a success, with Rachel's height increasing by an inch. But the body brace became Rachel's best friend for the next two years, having to be worn 22 hours a day, including at night.
It didn't stop her. Rachel participated in as many activities as she did before and now, does everything most 12-year-old-girls do in her area: showing cattle and swine at the county fair, playing basketball and volleyball, competing in archery and marksmanship.
The "unbending of Rachel" has made the family stronger, her mother said, and their faith real, especially for Rachel.
There is still more surgery ahead, with one scheduled in July to extend the rod in her vertebrae. But this time, Rachel knows what to expect.
"Nothing compares to the love that I feel from God," Rachel wrote in her notebook. "He was my constant strength, my constant comfort, and my constant courage."