Southern New Hampshire University
T12 Spinal Cord Injury
Victoria Arlen’s life drastically changed in 2006 at the tender age of eleven when she developed two rare conditions known as Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis. This was an incredibly rare scenario and Victoria quickly lost the ability to speak, eat, walk and move. She slipped into a vegetative state in which doctors had written her off as a lost cause. Victoria spent nearly four years “locked” inside her own body completely aware of what was going on but unable to move or communicate. Doctors believed there was little hope of survival and recovery was unlikely. Victoria, however was not ready to give up. In 2010 after almost four years she began the nearly impossible fight back to life. Learning how to speak, eat and move all over again. Although she faced the devastating reality of paralysis from the waist down due to damage to her spine. She went on to exceedingly defy the odds and not only recovered but has since become an accomplished Motivational Speaker, Actress, Model, and Swimmer.
Her swimming resume includes three Silvers and a Gold medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games as well as multiple World, American and Pan American Records. Victoria recently joined ESPN and made her television debut this Summer reporting from the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles. At just twenty years old Victoria has become world famous not only for her story and accomplishments but for her message:
“ Face It, Embrace It, Defy It, Conquer It “ and “Rock Your Disability”