Breckenridge, CO – Sixteen-year-old Sarah Holm always loved to hit the slopes of Cascade Mountain near her home of Baraboo, Wisc., with her father. She was a seasoned and talented skier, and the sport was a way for the two to bond. It took a rare spinal cord condition to change that.nHolm spent six years trying to overcome tethered cord syndrome, a debilitating neurological disease in which a malformed spinal cord is held taut at the end, stretching as a child grows progressively damaging the nerves.
“She skied for six years on legs she couldn’t feel,” Sarah’s father, Dave Holm, told a local newspaper.
Holm, however, was a fighter, banning her family from using the word “disabled,” even as her condition deteriorated and surgeons removed a portion of her spinal cord.
Sarah Holm, of Baraboo, Wisc., back at home on the slopes of Breckenridge, Colo., last winter.
It looked as though Holm’s skiing days were far behind her. But when the Make-A-Wish Foundation confirmed she was eligible for a wish, things began looking up. Holm wished for the power to ski again – and she received it. Holm visited Breckenridge, Colo. last winter, where she learned how to use her new adaptive ski and equipment that the Foundation gave her.
For the first time, after years of watching friends and family from the distance, Holm was able to ski again. In addition to reconnecting with this long-lost hobby and father-daughter bonding opportunity, she also gained a promising future in skiing to look forward to. She’s already been invited to ski racing camps. She also aspirations to race in the 2014 Winter Paralympics.
This amazing young woman refused to let a tremendous challenge keep her from following her passion.