Host Victoria Arlen on the set of ESPN.
Host Victoria Arlen on the set of ESPN. Credit: Courtesy photo

Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation will present The Power Within, an evening with Victoria Arlen, a Paralympic gold and silver medalist and ESPN host, 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theatre.

An inspirational speaker, Arlen will talk about her story of recovery and rehabilitation.

In 2005, Arlen was 11 years old when she was diagnosed with two rare neurological disorders, Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis.

In a persistent vegetative state for four years, she was unable to communicate and sometimes suffered from seizures lasting more than 20 hours.

After a decade-long rehabilitation, Arlen regained the ability to walk in 2016 after being paralyzed from the waist down

Arlen has defied the odds, not only through recovery but has since become an accomplished motivational speaker, television host, philanthropist, writer and swimmer. Her swimming resume includes three silver and one gold medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games as well as multiple World, American and Pan American records.

In spring 2016, she was a contestant on Season 25 of “Dancing with the Stars,” placing in the top five.

Arlen founded and is co-chair of Victoria’s Victory Foundation (VVF), a nonprofit that assists those with mobility related disabilities. Since 2017, VVF provided more than $500,000 in scholarship funds to those who need it most.

Tickets to see Arlen are $36 general admission, $26 students, and $156 VIP. VIP tickets include a 5:30 p.m. reception; buy tickets online at