Meet Victoria Chen – multi-talented musician, top student, advocate for children and youth living with disabilities, and Easter Seals support recipient.
An only child, Victoria was initially diagnosed with unspecified spinal cord damage which was later defined as transverse myelitis. As a result, her lower extremities are fragile and she has difficulty with balance. “I can’t walk without using a mobility device,” says Victoria. “I get tired easily by standing or walking and I feel sore in my muscles, especially in my back. When I go out, I sometimes need to sit in a transport chair and have my parents push the chair around. Otherwise, I get too tired to do anything else.”
Victoria wears ankle foot orthotics on both feet and uses forearm crutches to walk short distances and a walker for longer distances.
Despite her disability, Victoria enjoys life to the fullest. She is incredibly active at school and participates in a variety of extracurricular activities, including school bands, choirs and the Peel District Honour Bands and Jazz Bands. Victoria is an enthusiastic student who foresees a career in the medical field where she can help people, especially children, live a better life.
Victoria is also an multi-talented musician, having mastered the piano, flute, saxophone, guitar and ukulele. She credits music with helping her “grow into a more interactive, capable and confident person, making [her] feel energized and alive.”
Victoria and her family have benefited from a number of Easter Seals services and programs, such as the Recreational Choices Funding Program, attending special events and accessing information and resources that are important for her family.
In 2015, at the age of 15, Victoria was selected as the Easter Seals Ontario Provincial Ambassador, a role that fulfilled her desire to advocate for—and give back to—the organization that helped her and her family so much. Victoria relished her time as Easter Seals Ontario Provincial Ambassador and took advantage of any opportunity to meet people who support her cause across Ontario. The role also gave Victoria the poise and confidence to speak and perform as a musician in public—something that has helped Victoria immensely in her life.
“Living with a physical disability means that seemingly trivial things that people would do without a second thought, I have to figure out another way to do, or try a little bit harder,” admits Victoria. “I’ve had tremendous support from Easter Seals – they have helped me and other kids with physical disabilities realize that we can do just as much as anyone else.”