Paralysis Didn’t Stop Me Becoming A Ballet Dancer | TRULY
Paralysis Didn’t Stop Me Becoming A Ballet Dancer | TRULY

SARAH TODD HAMMER: I think that you can make dancing anything you want it to be. I still continue to dance just like I would if I didn’t have a disability. SARAH TODD HAMMER: This is my bathroom that we’ve had adapted so I can get ready and shower on my own. We put in this touchpad. SARAH TODD HAMMER: When I was eight years old, I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis but now I’m 17 and my diagnosis is Acute Flaccid Myelitis. It’s caused by a virus attacking the spinal cord rather than my own body attacking the spinal cord. Since I can’t reach my hair or my face, I just put my elbow up here and then I can do my makeup. I can’t lift my arms up higher than this and my right hand is weak. Until I was 15, I never really actually got to take a shower by myself. It was really like, emotional for me the first time I took a shower in my bathroom and I was really excited because I was being independent. LISA HAMMER: April 19th, 2010, it’s a really hard day to talk about. LISA HAMMER: We went to her dance class. LISA HAMMER: She said that she had, what she called, a headache, really bad headache. SARAH TODD HAMMER: It got so bad to the point that I was crying so my mom was just going to take me home to rest. LISA HAMMER: She’s like, “Mom my hands don’t work”. LISA HAMMER: And it kind of, just goes through you when your child says something like that. LISA HAMMER: She couldn’t stand, she was just a dead weight. So, I carried her into the urgent care. LISA HAMMER: A million things go through your head, “This is, this is my baby girl”. LISA HAMMER: There’s you and me, looking younger and pretty. SARAH TODD HAMMER: I remained in the hospital for two months where I was in the ICU for 12 days. SARAH TODD HAMMER: I’m unable to do buttons and zippers on clothes so getting dressed is almost impossible for me. It actually damaged my mood when I had to have my mom help me get dressed for school in the morning. SARAH TODD HAMMER: It just felt like, really unnatural to have someone getting me dressed, since that was something I should be doing on my own. SARAH TODD HAMMER: Since I’ve had AFM for nine years, I most likely won’t get any more recovery back but I’ve clearly recovered a lot since I was paralysed from the neck down. SARAH TODD HAMMER: Here’s another Tommy Hilfiger dress that’s really cute, I love this dress. It has magnets in the back instead of a button or zipper so it makes it really easy for me to put on. Now I’m able to walk and my legs are basically normal. SARAH TODD HAMMER: I feel like, I still have a really good life. I always tell people that I’m still a normal teenager just with a few other challenges. SARAH TODD HAMMER: This is me and One Direction on my Make a Wish trip and Harry is holding my book in the picture. One of my biggest accomplishments I think is publishing three books. I wrote and published my first book when I was 11 in 2013. I share my story of how I got AFM. SARAH TODD HAMMER: Typing is hard for me because I only have the use of one hand so, I type just with one finger but it’s still much easier than writing. SARAH TODD HAMMER: So, I typed out my whole book on a Google doc. SARAH TODD HAMMER: A lot of people think that people with disabilities aren’t capable of doing what abled bodied people can do. SARAH TODD HAMMER: I still have a disability, but I still continue to dance just like I would if I didn’t have a disability, I just do it in my own way. LISA HAMMER: I love her determination to continue dancing because it really was her first love. SARAH TODD HAMMER: I honestly don’t know what I’d do without my mom because I love her just like, my best friend. LISA HAMMER: From an outsider looking in, it would be easy to say that every day is a struggle, but she just doesn’t let it be that. SARAH TODD HAMMER: I always look forward to my ballet classes after school and now choreographing dances is one of my favourite hobbies. LISA HAMMER: She is so brave, she has just forged ahead. SARAH TODD HAMMER: Stay positive and still love life and realize that it can be difficult having a disability but it’s not like a game changer for enjoying your life.

100 thoughts on “Paralysis Didn’t Stop Me Becoming A Ballet Dancer | TRULY”

  1. Melania Marini says:

    Go girl!

  2. Danyela Tobya says:


  3. life with D'Aireon and A'raea gatewood says:

    I would have never new you had something like that intill you told me your beautiful and will always be stay you ❤️ your so sweet 😘

  4. Unicorn Cupcake playz ROBLOX says:

    I am a dancer too so this just goes to show how lucky I am as I have the ability to use my arms. I am so happy she's standing tall and still dancing like a pro!

  5. PuppyMisia Roblox says:

    April 19th is my birthday 😶

  6. New York Shitty says:

    I wish I could dance like her

  7. clo O says:

    such a beautiful young lady wit a beautiful soul. God bless u and your family. o yea and u can really dance good. U r such an inspiration to me personally(wit my learning disability) in more ways than one and I thank u for that cuz watching u makes me realize that nothing is impossible

  8. Timothy H says:


  9. Rose Wah says:

    You can do it never give up Sarah

  10. Carlos Zc says:

    90 dislikes!!! I wonder . why !!! This girl is an inspiration to others!!!

  11. Pneumonoultramicroscopic silicovolcanoconiosis says:


    John Cena : no u dont

  12. Florence Girard says:

    Very beautiful girl!!! Congratulations for your book❤️

  13. Merilora Duncan says:

    They barely mentioned it, but she had more than just paralyzed arms and hands. She was paralyzed from the neck down for a while and has slowly regained use of her body except for parts of her arms and hands.

    You can also lose the feeling in various parts of your body and still be able to move them. When dealing with nerves and spinal cord injuries there are many different kinds of injuries and damage that affect your whole body or just some areas. The longer the damage goes untreated it can get progressively worse and there is no guarantee that the affects will be reversed. Sometimes surgeries or treatments can only stop more damage from happening. No talks about the fact that even if you are numb in various areas of your body you can still have pain. There are so many different kinds and levels of nerve pain and unless you experience it you really can’t understand how it affects the person dealing with it daily. I am glad that they are making more videos about the different things people face daily. It can be extremely difficult when you have what is known as an invisible illness or condition because a stranger and even people you see daily has no clue what you are going through and dealing with. I worked with people who made their assumptions and past judgment on me and others without asking or talking to me. I was constantly shocked when they would say something either under their breath or to whoever they were with not realizing that I could hear them. When I received the phone call telling me that I had an appointment with a Neuro surgeon because my spinal cord was impinged in 4 places one person tried to compare it to her diverticulitis. After the first surgery my teacher ‘s assistant couldn’t understand why I couldn’t come back to work because her brother in law and one of our students parent went back to work 3 days after their surgery. Uuhhmm well their injury was minor. My situation was life threatening literally on wrong move and I would have either died or become a quadriplegic on a respirator for the rest of my life. After reading the MRI results before actually meeting me my Neurosurgeon was shocked to learn that I was able to stand up and walk or function at the level I was with the amount of damage and the location of the damage. His assistant did the preliminary evaluation and left to consult him. He came in the room barely a minute later to do the evaluation for himself because he didn’t believe it. Every day is an adventure when dealing with spinal cord injuries and the pain and numbness and what you can and cannot do because it is constantly changing.

  14. Ababy says:

    Girl, you got AFM from a vaccine.

  15. jordan says:

    she's so beautiful 💕

  16. bravoandallhisgirls says:

    I how the same shower touchpad

  17. Nate Vision says:

    She’s awesome

  18. K. S. says:

    You are beautiful. Both kinds.

  19. Vb1953 says:

    WOW! You are an INSPIRATION! AND you dance BEAUTIFULLY !

  20. Elizabeth Tarvin says:

    Meeting one direction and Harry Styles holding her book she wrote is a life goal! I have a disability but a bit different than hers but I’m still amazed by her!

  21. Eliza Dolittle says:

    beautiful inspiring story – beautiful inspiring young girl

  22. Halle Benning says:

    You go girl. Dream big and reach fir the stars

  23. Laura White says:

    and that virus is Epstein Barr Virus. Same cause for so many autoimmune disorders also. Yet it is only detectable in stage 2, one it has caused these neurological conditions fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and so on is when it becomes undetectable. EBV feeds off heavy metals in the body and the only way to get rid of it is Advanced TRS bought from coseva

  24. Veronica Beth says:

    No one cares we look at you and feel better for not being like that and feel better about our self fact

  25. Cassandra van Ham says:


  26. Straight Shooter says:

    god bless you all.

  27. Gigi Girl says:

    The 97 people who disliked this should just GO AWAY!

  28. Annaliah Goicochea says:

    Omg I was born that day that the mom said and the year and it was the time Wise 1:25

  29. SunflowerGal says:

    Meanwhile I’m here struggling to get out of bed

  30. PrincessFluffyBunny says:

    This is so inspirational!💜💜💜

  31. Irisss says:

    She's a directioner aw

  32. Emilyy Emily says:

    So proud of her ❤

  33. Lakshmi Muralidharan says:

    Amazing girl! A true inspiration! Let many miracles happen in your life. Many blessings to you! Lobe your mom's positivity. Long live! Live happy!

  34. Matshmallow Unicorn says:

    "The paralysis ballet princess"

  35. Andreja M says:

    I love the fact, that she has One Direction pillows 😀

  36. Stareee gamer says:

    April 19th 2010 was my sisters birthdate

  37. Amy Stabenow says:

    She is so graceful. I admire her gumption…

  38. KALEIGH GILL says:

    Do you do physical therapy??

  39. Aless Vita says:

    God bless very inspiring 🙏 keep it up girly

  40. Star ChaserROBLOX says:

    aww God Bless

  41. CrimZon RayZ says:

    I feel terrible watching this heartbroken i hope she can get better in the future right now hope she keeps fighting and has her head high why do good people have to go through such terrible events and diseases

  42. Tom Grenfell says:

    how do people hit unlike on this?

  43. froot lups says:

    you look like a young version of claudia jean hahaha

  44. • Cranky Dayz • says:

    Why did I think she was normal and didn’t have any condition

  45. Alayna Markey says:

    A beautiful personality, soul, and girl

  46. Juku yuu says:

    She is so pretty!



  48. says:

    Such a bright awesome young lady!

    Also: what wast the intro song ?

  49. That 1 short dancer says:

    So so so so inspiring

  50. William Brammer says:


  51. William Brammer says:

    I watch dance moms and you are very GRACEFUL GOD BLESS YOU

  52. Monika Ogilba says:

    so beautiful ❤

  53. Krina Panchal says:

    She makes me realize that we can do anything whatever we want really proud of her 😊😊😊

  54. MANON says:

    i don't have a disability but she dances better than me

  55. Ron Marsh says:

    Good for you, you are a amazing person! And you have come a long way. Don't let asking for help to get you down, we all need some kinda help in some way. Keep up the great work, loved your dancing.

  56. Rebecca Fernandes says:

    Soooooo inspirational keep up the good work 😉

  57. Aaron Kasér says:

    Tommy Hilfiger is my fave brand and I’m glad they cater to everyone. His clothing may be expensive for some but the quality is perfection and it’s great to know I support a brand for doing this. if you can afford it I encourage you!!!

  58. Adam D Pendragon says:

    Such a beautiful person, full of life with a fiery soul.. a heart of pure light.

  59. Kim Seokjin's Wife says:

    seeing other people's life makes you realise how blessed you are and that nothing is impossible ❤

  60. Alexis Boyd says:

    I’m typing a book on google docs too

  61. Dresha802 says:

    I HAD that 1D bear😂

  62. Sergio Guerrero says:

    absolutely beautiful smile. makes even gloomy me look at the bright side…. truly inspiring… your story has moved me to tears miss.

  63. Dave Johnson says:

    Your beautiful inside and out ! ❤️

  64. Jade Marie says:

    She's awesome!

  65. Rice Gum says:

    How do you contract a virus like that? How does it get in your body?

  66. Tina Bean says:

    As a mother, I cannot imagine. I would have been absolutely terrified. I’m so pleased to see that you’ve been able to adapt to things. You’re very resilient.

  67. Stacy Castello says:

    Keep living up to your full potential!
    Inspiring story!

  68. King Ikem says:

    She is a cutie

  69. Beverley Jouannet says:

    Beautiful girl….

  70. Amber Richardson-Grigg says:

    You are so inspiring ❤️❤️

  71. Puppies4ever TheFam says:

    Very talented and beautiful! You have accomplished great things. One thing I worry about watching you do ballet is when your arms flail back it looks super painful.

  72. Mike B says:

    Wow she's so beautiful!! I live pretty close to Atlanta!! What I would give to see her dancing with the great posture she has!! You can totally tell even though she is paralyzed she dances BETTER than women who AREN'T paralyzed!!

  73. Asma Godil says:

    She is very beautiful ☺☺O Good God bless her please O God good people are your favourite 🙁🙁please bless her 🙏🏻🙏🏻

  74. trapple Gawd says:

    i’m still jealous she got to meet One Direction… still love her tho

  75. Kimberly Marshall says:

    Awesome young lady, God bless you. 💜

  76. Francis T says:


  77. Arushi Dalmeya says:

    Someone:you can't do this ..
    Sarah:watch me 🤘
    True inspiration girl.♥️

  78. Charlotte Rivera says:

    God bless you if I went through that u would just be so depressed you are amazing

  79. Tony Mc Aulay says:

    I'm on pont

  80. Lakayal Givens says:

    Who ever said no y’all are wrong she amazing she fights

  81. Ren Mystic says:

    You be you girl!

  82. Patricia White says:

    Thank you for sharing you are a wonderful person u are beautiful keep up the good work don't let it stop u love ur video. God Bless

  83. chickalata a game says:

    Loving the one direction stuff! I'm a fan too❤️❤️

  84. Boss Queen says:

    I pray she gets all her strength back in the name of God Amen.💯

  85. Ice Girl says:

    I love one direction so much when they came to Northern Ireland and Zayn wants there i was sad but I loved the concert

  86. cat Valentine's says:

    She so pretty bless your soul her hands cant work but her soul active and her ❤ i feel so blessed to have arms legs no disabilities thank u god

  87. Kingsley Reynolds says:

    girl your makeup looks better than mine

  88. Daisy Groet says:

    so she’s not paralysed then?

  89. Rachel Hodge says:

    My girl is killing it! Do it sis 💜

  90. GeographyGamerii says:

    I can hardly type this comment with one finger wow. Inspirational!

  91. Martha Fraser says:

    She’s the definition of inspiration

  92. Shawn Cope says:

    I LOVE Dance I do it and it’s fun

  93. Nitsa Michael says:

    What a wonderful girl and mother.

  94. Baty cousins Family reunions says:

    What’s paralise

  95. Cecorra says:

    Such an amazing person and loved hearing her journey

  96. Dammit Donna says:

    I was in a bad accident and could not do yoga anymore but my friend said yes you can! Just do YOUR version of yoga! I love that:)))

  97. Cerys Stevo says:

    Watching you dance made me well up

  98. Eunae Kim says:

    Too bad Sarah doesn't live in Florida. She would have been able to go to one of the two most cutting edge programs for those with disabilities in the United States!

  99. Maya Wylie says:

    her mother is amazing

  100. saravis56 says:

    If she was poor, being in the US, this would be a much different story.

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