Sarah Herron made waves when she appeared on The Bachelor Season 17. It wasn’t just her beautiful hair, perfect clothes, or sweet personality that captivated America — it was the fact that she was the first amputee contestant in the show’s history. The 26-year-old California girl was born with amniotic band syndrome, and was quick to explain to Bachelor Sean Lowe that she doesn’t consider it a disability.

Although her openness and bravery led to Sean giving her the first 1-on-1 of the season, she was ultimately eliminated by the Texan Bachelor. Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Sarah at the RealityWanted Awards on April 14 in Los Angeles to talk to her about what it meant to her to be the first Bachelor contestant with a “disability” and how things have changed since then.

“I don't want to say I opened the door, paved the way, but I do think it was a first of hopefully many,” Sarah says of her groundbreaking difference. “I always say I didn't go on this show to be a spokesperson, and I didn't go on to be this crusader.”

So, what did she hope to achieve by joining in the hunt for red roses? “I was just a girl that wanted to fall in love,” Sarah declares, “and I'm no different than anybody else. I'm no different than Daniella, or Catherine or anyone, and I just want to find my soulmate. So I applied, and I went on. And it turned into a much bigger situation than I ever anticipated.”

Credit: ABC

As for what has come of the experience, Sarah says she could not have foreseen the impact she would have on others. “In hindsight, I'm very humbled and honored and grateful that it turned out the way it did because I turned into something that could inspire people and motivate people, and in turn, it has inspired and motivated me,” she explains.

“I'm like, holy cow,” Sarah exclaims. “I never expected to do this for you, but the overwhelming positive support and feedback that I've got has been empowering and uplifting, and I'm so honored and thrilled I could do that for people.”

Reporting by Carita Rizzo