By Ruby Coote
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Producer: Ruby Coote
Editor: Marcus Cooper
From exploring the world of snake-handling churches, to getting sassy with killer plus-size dance troupes. Meeting everyone from inspiring transgender children, to people who proudly embrace their differences such as a woman with a beard and the teen whose body is covered in 90 percent burns.
To celebrate Barcroft TV’s 1.1 billion YouTube views, and an additional 2 million subscribers, we’ve collated our top 10 most viewed videos of the year and can now reveal our most incredible and inspirational figures of 2018.
In at number 10, with 4.7 million views is 10-year-old Brooklyn Sittner, from Billings, Montana, a CrossFit badass who trains up to nine hours a day and can bench more than adults twice her age. Brooklyn fell in love with the intense sport when she was just six years old and can now lift 45kgs.
Self-styled ‘tragic doll’, Shirley Alvarez is number 9 with 5.1 million views. Shirley, from Queens in New York, lives with the skin-hardening condition, scleroderma and has overcome it by taking on a doll-like persona.
At number 8, we meet transgender identical twin brothers, Angel and Fabian, who entertained 5.2 million viewers with their amazing story about both of them transitioning from female to male.
The brothers, from Atlanta, work as truck drivers and jointly made the decision to transition in their early twenties.
Number 7 is from Barcroft TV’s hit Born Different series. Michelle Kish, from Illinois, has rare disease Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, which symptoms include distinct round, childlike facial features and a form of dwarfism, meaning the 20-year-old is often mistaken for a chid.
Her positivity and humour warmed the hearts of 5.3 million people.
Number 6’s entry is from Barcoft TV’s Extreme Love series, where we meet polyamorous ‘throuple’ Joey, his wife Crystal and their girlfriend, Jamie.
The trio, from Arkansas, got together after Crystal fell for Jamie. Instead of divorce, Joey invited Jamie into their home and now she helps raise Crystal and Joey’s son, Jamison. The story about their unorthodox relationship was watched by 5.5 million people.
In at number 5 is another character who captured 5.6 million hearts. Adalia Rose, from Austin, Texas, has progeria, a disease that makes her age much faster than everyone else. We joined the YouTube star as she celebrated her 11th birthday.
Sinikwe Kademaunga, from Harare in Zimbabwe, inspired 5.7 million viewers, after she showed how she lives a fulfilled and positive life without any hands or knees.
The 24-year-old now educates about disabilities in her native country and inspires thousands at her speaking events and online.
At number 3, Jaren and David Wiklund, from Washington, tell their story about their 11-year-old son, Davey, who faces a daily battle with Lesch Nyhan syndrome, which affects his muscle control, resulting in him constantly hurting himself.
The video, which details the family’s daily measures to ensure Davey doesn’t hurt himself, has been watched 7.7 million times.
Azusa Sakamoto’s real-life Barbie Dream House was enjoyed by 7.9 million viewers. The 36-year-old has spent $80,000 turning her West Hollywood apartment into a Barbie shrine, containing everything from a Barbie fridge, to a Barbie toilet seat.
But in at number 1 is the story of John Allaire, whose weightloss journey and skin removal surgery was followed by 10.7 million people.
After losing his dad, John, from San Diego, piled on the pounds and at his heaviest was a whopping 540lbs. After a doctor was forced to weigh him on a commercial scale at fish market, John was given the wake-up call he needed and he signed up to a strict fitness and diet programme, which resulted in him shedding an amazing 230lbs.
However, the extreme weightloss left him with 13lbs of excess skin. Skin removal surgery was the only way it was going to be removed so John underwent the surgery - with unbelievable results.