SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Victoria Arlen spoke at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara Thursday night at an event sponsored by Hope for Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation.
Arlen took the audience on a journey through her life. She shared her inspiring story of recovery and rehabilitation after being diagnosed with two rare neurological disorders at age 11.
Her message overall was about hope and in particular, finding small blinks of that hope on the hard days.
Arlen said, "It's finding those small blinks of hope, and one of the first signs I gave my family was a blink, a literal blink. And to most that's 'well, she's not talking. She's not that. She's not this.' But it was a small thing. And so for me, I was always looking for blinks. And so even on those days when I was in therapy and nothing was happening, I was looking for a blink. And you can find blinks everywhere you go, you can find blinks of hope and moments of gratitude."
Even in a vegetative state, she spoke of being grateful that she was still here.
When she had extra frustrating days, Arlen added, "let the rainstorm come, let the thunder crash, let the lightning strike, but then allow the rainbow to come in."
Face it, embrace it, defy it, and even conquer it. Arlen explained, "doesn't matter what you're going through, that you just have to keep going and hold on to that tiny little bit of hope. And if you can find one thing or one moment, you grab on to it and you just keep going."