Jalee's Story

Singer Niall Horan Changes Her Life

Just as Jalee was entering high school, challenges associated with her muscular dystrophy began to worsen. She was experiencing a lot of pain and muscle weakness and required surgery every year but One Direction was always there for her.

“[One Direction] helped me through all of my procedures. All of the doctors knew I was a huge fan so they played the music in the operating room.” Jalee explains.

In 2015, One Direction fans were heartbroken by the news that the band had split. Jalee didn’t know what would come next. But Jalee didn’t give up on her dream. She followed singer Niall Horan’s musical journey online and listened to his latest hits.

In the Fall of 2018, Jalee’s Sunshine Dream came true. She flew from Sudbury, ON to meet Niall Horan at his concert in Toronto. “It was the best week of my entire life,” Jalee describes.

Niall took time to learn about Jalee and signed her AFO braces. This was the very moment she felt a change in her life.


“Signing my leg brace was a huge thing for me. Before, I’d feel upset and insecure when people would point at my leg brace. But now I’m proud to show it off.”

To add to the magic of the night, Niall played two One Direction songs. Out of any of the songs he could have chosen, he played “Drag Me Down”, Jalee’s life motto from back in 2015. “Nothing can drag me down, not these operations, not my disability,” she describes, “for him to play that was meant to be.”

Back in Sudbury, Jalee keeps up with One Direction and Niall Horan fans around the world, some of whom she met at the concert. She incorporates music into all aspects of her life as a motivation tool - especially as she studies and volunteers in physiotherapy.

“My goal once I graduate from college is to work with kids with disabilities and help people like me take their first steps and reinforce their muscles. My biggest motto now is “dreams do come true”.

“This dream made a huge impact on my life. It’s something I can look back on. Any time I’m down I look at the photos and it brings a huge smile to my face. It brought me more confidence and so much joy.”