OTHERS

Tiny Girl Lands Big Netflix Role & Starts DisabilityShirts.com

Rare Disease & Syndrome

Sammi Haney

My Netflix Role and Company I Started

Hi! I am Sammi Haney, I’m 9 years old, and I play #Esperanza on the #Netflix Series #RaisingDion and I also started my own t-shirt company www.disabilityshirts.com (link in my profile bio) to provide themed apparel for people with disabilities (and their parents and supporters) in a mission to spread awareness, acceptance, and love for the special needs community.

My Rare Brittle Bone Disease

I was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (O.I. or Brittle Bone Disease). I was diagnosed in the womb, and even though there was a planned c-section, I was born with 19 detectable fractures in various stages of healing. I have broken hundreds of bones from simple things like tossing and turning too much when asleep (when I was younger) or simply sneezing too hard. My O.I. doesn’t just effect my bones, but also my teeth, lungs and much more.

I get infusions to make my bones thicker, but they are still brittle (in the same way that thicker styrofoam is stronger, but it is still brittle). I also have telescoping rods in my arms, legs and back, which straightened all of my bones which were curvy from multiple breaks, and allow my bones to heal better when I do break. I have had to wear many medical braces and have had lots of surgeries, but I never let that get me down! I have brittle bones and live life to the fullest!

I Hope to Change How People See People with Disabilities

I hope people can see past my wheelchair, and see me, as a person. When my parents told people about me being on a Netflix Series, it was disappointing that some of them assumed it must be a show about my medical condition, as if that is all they could see about me, and as if that is the only kind of show that people with disabilities can star in.

I got the part, as my parents were told, because when they watched my audition tape I made everyone in the room laugh, and they loved my sassy personality. My wheelchair is not what got me the part. Hopefully by being on Netflix’s Raising Dion I am able to help remove the stigma that people with disabilities cannot star in major drama series. #yoocandoanything #yoocan #disability #inclusion #wheelchair #story #sammihaney #teamsammi #awareness

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