SPORTS, FITNESS & DANCE

I Used to Be A Quadriplegic, But Now I'm Dancing Again!

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Sarah Todd

Introduction to Transverse Myelitis

My name is Sarah Todd Hammer (I go by Sarah Todd) and I'm fifteen years old. When I was eight, I became paralyzed from the neck-down due to a rare neuroimmune disorder called Transverse Myelitis that damages the spinal cord.

How I Recovered from Transverse Myelitis

Since then, I've recovered the ability to walk and partial use of my arms/hands. I had been dancing since I was three before I got ill, and I really wanted to be able to dance again, which is why I began choreographing dances to fit my arm function shortly after I recovered the use of my legs. Beginning with my first dance, "Adrift," I've choreographed and performed dances to Falling Slowly (entitled "Adrift"), Therapy, and Sign of the Times, which are all posted on my YouTube channel: Sarah Todd Hammer, or at these links:

Adrift: https://youtu.be/RSFHCn4Uhy0 
Therapy: https://youtu.be/xsTWRILIfpM 
Sign of the Times: https://youtu.be/SbzhFYc-Byk

The Books about Transverse Myelitis

In addition to my choreographed dances, I've also written two books entitled "5k, Ballet, and a Spinal Cord Injury" and its sequel "Determination" with my friend Jen. These books chronicle our journeys with Transverse Myelitis and how we both regained the ability to dance and run again, as well as develop a wonderful, sister-like friendship. Our Instagram account for our books is @5kballet. My hope with my dancing and books is that I encourage other people with disabilities to be positive and, most importantly, determined!

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