victoria's timeline

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September 1994
Born Boston, MA the girl of triplets

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2003
Begins swimming with the Exeter Swim Team; she had begun dreaming of winning a gold medal starting at age five. 

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April 2006
Unidentifiable pain begins, beginning the decline in her health.

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May – July 2006
Her body begins to slowly shut down; leg dragging as she begins to lose use of her legs, she is becoming cognitively impaired, head and neck weakness, and trouble swallowing.

She is in and out of hospitals searching for a diagnosis.

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July 2006
Due to paralysis from the waist down, she begins life in a wheelchair.

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August 2006
She slips into vegetative state unaware of her surroundings and loses her memory due to brain inflammation. She is placed on a nasal gastric tube for feeding. Her family moves her out of the hospital to care for her at home.

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October 2006 – April 2007
In and out of hospitals and rehab facility. 

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January 2007 – Sept 2008
Regains ability to speak and function while wheelchair bound, battling numerous physical limitations, cognitive disconnect and amnesia. 

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October 2008
Neurological decline continues as hands begin to curl in and lose function and she loses her ability to speak. 

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January 2009 
Due to onset of myoclonic seizures, hospitalized once again. 

A diagnosis of Transverse Myelitis is finally given; there is still no medical explanation for her vegetative state.

During hospital stay, she becomes aware of surroundings and memory returns however she has no ability to communicate. She is now suffering from “Locked In Syndrome” 

Victoria returns home for long term care.

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September 2009
Hospitalized due to severity of seizures.

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November 2009
Ability to blink first form of communication – in hospital 

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December 2009
Attempts to speak and sign and beginning to gain awareness

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February 2010
Begins speaking and regaining strength (still not eating)

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August 2010
Introduced back to swimming pool by brothers William and Cam.

Regains ability to read.

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September 2010
Starts school again at Exeter High School after missing four years.
Begins swimming independently with local teams.

January – July 2011
Catching up in school, swimming, and competed on US Women’s National Sled hockey team.

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August 2011
Swam in first Paralympic style swim meet, sets sights on London 2012 but was told she did not have a chance because she entered training too late.

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September 2011
Competed in first Paralympic style meet and broke her first American record and qualified for the Paralympic time trials. 

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March 2012
Began training with swim coach John Ogden in Beverly MA – North Shore Sharks

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May 2012
Broke first world record (800 Freestyle)

June 2012
Broke two more world records at the Paralympic swimming trials and earned a spot on Team USA for London 2012

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August – September 2012
Swam for Team USA in London (age 17) and won three silvers and a one gold, and set new Paralympic and World Record. 

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May 2013
Completed high school in three years and graduated on time with triplet brothers.

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July 2013
Nominated for ESPY - Best Female Athlete with a disability. 

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September – November  2013
Discovered and trained at Project Walk in California.

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November 2013
The Arlen family begins mission to bring Project Walk to the East Coast. 

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2014
Motivational speaking tours and going to college while suffering health set backs.

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January 2015
Project Walk Boston opens doors and Victoria begins training full time

April 2015
Job offer from ESPN as reporter.

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July 2015 
Makes ESPN debut at Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles.

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November 2015
While on the treadmill, a flicker in Victoria’s right leg is observed after months of hard work and hours of training at Project Walk, Boston.

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December 2015 
Signs contract with ESPN and begins splitting her time between Bristol CT and Project Walk. She begins using leg braces and crutches, leaving her wheelchair after ten years.

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March 2016
Begins walking without crutches.

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November 2016
Lands book deal with Howard/Simon & Schuster.

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August 2017
Launches Victoria’s Victory Foundation.

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September 2017
Joins cast of Dancing with the Stars.

For the rest of the journey, stay tuned….