Sarah has always been very involved in charity work and says that continued involvement will help her get through her current situation. "It's the safest place for me. ... I believe I learn from the true celebrities, which are the children. When little Mohammed comes up and says, 'The guy over there playing football cut my leg off with a machete, but I forgive him,' then what is Mohammed teaching me? My grandmother always said, 'When you feel bad about yourself, give to others.'"

There are lessons in every setback, and Sarah says she is trying to learn from what's happened. "I wasn't looking at all my issues of self-hatred or worthlessness or abuse or whatever it might be. I was coming from: 'It's okay. We can do this. We can fight on,'" she says. "I needed to stop and take check and say, 'What is it that I really want?'"

While plenty of people have told her to remain quiet, Sarah says it's not in her nature. "I will accept everything I've done, and I will now just go forward. I must go forward," she says. "I remember one wonderful lady in Sierra Leone who said to me, 'They can take your country, but they can't take your soul.' And I feel that I can come back from this. It will take a long time, but I think I'm authentically myself sitting here right now, and I'm going to give it a good shot."

Look back at Sarah's life in photos. 


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