Wayne Hills Rallies to Support Local Family


Photo shared on Rebekah’s instagram account.

By Anzor Mustafa, Staff Writer

Students expect to spend their High School experience hanging out with friends, at football games, and dancing at junior formal. However, this wasn’t how it went for junior Rebekah Simon-Wainick, who underwent PAO surgery—periacetabular osteotomy, last year. 

The Simon-Wainick family has dealt with various misfortunes throughout the years. In November 2022, Mrs. Jamie Simon, a Wayne Hills alumni, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She suffered two strokes caused by cancer before receiving surgery. 

Additionally, after the summer of 8th grade, Rebekah started experiencing extreme lower back pain. She went to her local doctor and got diagnosed with a herniated disc and a stress fracture in her lumbar spine. A couple of months later, during karate practice, she fell and her hip made a loud and painful popping sound, stating in her Instagram account she founded, Positive PAO, “I was in tears and it was hard to get off the ground.” After several months of going to different doctors and specialists, a surgeon diagnosed her with bilateral hip dysplasia and a labrum tear in both hips.

Rebekah Simon-Wainick has been a pillar of resilience amidst tragedy in the Wayne Hills community. She has founded Positive PAO, an Instagram account where she empowers and uplifts those with pao/hip dysplasia/hip surgery and chronic pain. Moreover, she has been very candid with her experience: posting post-op vlogs, and documenting her journey on social media. In one post, she is seen listening to Taylor Swift while in recovery.

Every day she is getting stronger and learning how to walk. She noted, “I keep having to remind myself that healing is not linear and a surgery like this takes time and patience.”

Presently, Simon-Wainick is recovering from her most recent PAO surgery.

To honor Rebekah and her mother’s struggle – Wayne Hills students will wear pink on Monday for breast cancer, and blue, Rebekah’s favorite color, on Thursday. 

People are also encouraged to donate money either in person or through Venmo. Students can hand the money to the main office or drop it off in the commons during lunch.

Rebekah stated, “These past few months have been extremely challenging for my family and I. Our lives have been basically turned upside down and we really appreciate everyone’s support and well wishes, it means the world to us!”