In the age of Covid, what could be better than one of the best “feel good” stories I have ever heard. I attended the last investment conference before the virus hit in late Fall last year, and one of the speakers was a young lady who had the hundreds of us in the audience spellbound as she recited her unstoppable drive to survive in desperate circumstances.
The young lady’s name is Victoria Arlen, a now 26 year old television personality for ESPN, a Paralympian swimmer and an tremendously inspiring soul. The brief version of her story is that at the age of eleven she developed two rare conditions, which placed her into a vegetative state, unable to speak, eat, walk or even move for four years. She was “locked-in” to her own body, and yet was mostly aware of her surroundings and circumstances. Most of us would have given up and lost hope, but she continued to fight, and did gradually after those four years relearn everything about how to walk, talk and take care of herself. She went on to win four medals at the Paralympic games in London in 2012, and while she still has no sensation in her legs, she did gradually regain the ability to walk again.
Her autobiography is “Locked In”, I cannot recommend it highly enough in these miserable times, and I can assure you that when this young lady walked by herself onto a stage in front of all us, gave an inspiring talk about her life and struggles, virtually the entire audience, including myself, was in tears by the end. A wonderful antidote to anyone feeling sorry for themselves in quarantine for sure.