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.