Jacqueline Arlen & Larry Arlen
Meet Jacqueline Arlen and her husband Larry Arlen; they are the proud parents of former Paralympian Victoria Arlen, now a personality for ESPN and a contestant on season 25 of Dancing With the Stars with pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy.
Victoria a triplet is one of four children born to Jacqueline Oscroft Arlen and her husband Larry Arlen ages 57 and 59 respectively. Jacqueline from Exeter, New Hampshire attended Exeter High School and subsequently went to the University of New Hampshire.
Her husband Larry, was born Lawrence M. Arden in 1958. In addition to daughter Vicky, Jacqueline and Larry have three sons, Lawrence, 28, Cameron and William, 22.
They daughter Victoria started swimming at a young age, by the time she was 10, she was winning local competitions, but nobody prepared Jacqueline and Larry for the terrible diagnosis, their daughter received at age 11.
Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis
Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis autoimmune disorders, doctors told Jacqueline and Larry the rare disorders cause swelling in her spinal cord and brain; Victoria experience pain in her back and side, later she lost all function and feelings in her legs, then arms, she also had difficulty speaking and then she fell into a coma.
Trapped inside her Body
Victoria woke up from her coma two years later, trapped in her own body, doctors told Jacqueline and Larry, their daughter would live in a vegetive state for the rest of her life; but they didn’t lose hope and Victoria started to get better.
In December 2009, I made eye contact with my mom. Slowly over the next year, I began coming back to life. Raw sounds became words, became sentences. A twitch of my index finger became the wave of my hand. The ability to swallow pudding eventually led to me mowing on a steak. I learned the name Justin Bieber, held my first cell phone and learned what it meant to “poke” someone on Facebook. But despite daily progress, one thing never returned: my legs. I was told the swelling had caused permanent damage to my spinal cord and I would be paralyzed from my belly button down for the rest of my life. Every specialist told me the same thing: “You need to get used to being in a wheelchair.”
I’d already overcome the impossible. I’d woken up and re-learned to live. My idea of what is possible had changed. When my doctors said I would never walk, I didn’t believe them. I knew I wasn’t meant to spend my life in a chair.
Although I believed I would walk again, I knew it would be a long, difficult road littered with challenges I couldn’t foresee. I remember coming home from high school one day crushed because kids were bullying me because of my chair. I had been so happy to return to school and after that day, I didn’t want to go back. As my crying subsided, my parents promised they would do whatever it took to help me to walk again. They kept that promise. They never lost hope.
Victoria made the USA Paralympic team in 2012, she took three silver medals and a gold medal; that same year the IPC ruled that her condition was not permanent, therefore, they disqualified her from the Paralympic World Championships. Victoria was not bitter, she was terribly sad, but accepted her fate, her father Larry who owns a security camera business didn’t feel the same way.
This kid has trained seven days a week for years and now she is being railroaded out,” he said.
“No one has given us an exact answer,” he said of the IPC’s ruling. “What kills me is their people have no experience with my daughter’s disease and have given an opinion. They’ve got every disability in this organization, but this is discrimination. It’s crazy.”
Nowadays, their daughter is a motivational speaker, book author, a television personality for ESPN and a ballroom dancer!!
Wondering if Victoria Arlen has a boyfriend? It looks like she used to date Ryan Callahan a former hockey player from Londonberry, NH, who she met in the summer of 2013 and dated for nearly a year.
Before Ryan, Victoria might have dated Tomas Owains.