Determined to beat debilitating disease

Determined to beat debilitating disease
By: Crystal Britt
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Think back, what were you doing at age 16? You were probably getting that drivers license and worrying about petty things in life like fashion and friends. Well, 16-year-old Victoria Lowes of Cape Girardeau thinks about those things too, but only on top of concerns many of us can hardly imagine. Muscular Dystrophy and a recent illness has changed her life dramatically. Despite her struggles, that young lady's not letting her disability get in the way of her dreams.  

"I love to swim." Victoria Lowes just wants to be like everyone else.  "On the weekend, get together with my friends at my house or go to their house." Inside her room, you can tell a teenage girl lives there. It's full of stuff: music, posters, you name it. But, it's the other side of the room that's different. It looks more like a hospital room with a homey touch. From the bed to the many accessories, she has everything she needs following a recent illness. "The day after thanksgiving, I was lying on the couch, that's the last thing I remember. I don't remember the drive to the hospital", said Victoria. "By the time we were in the car and heading to the hospital she went into respiratory arrest. On the drive there she was turning blue", said Edie Lowes-Victoria's Mom. Victoria had pneumonia and couldn't breathe. The next three months of her life would be spent in the hospital. On two occasions her family thought she might not make it. "She went backwards really fast and we thought we were going to lose her that night", said Edie. 

Victoria was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy right after she was born, and this is the first big scare she's faced. She's now trying to regain her mobility, has to use a ventilator at night, and also uses a trach. Her mom and dad, friends and her beloved dogs Sammy and Faith help get her through the day. She also loves school. She's catching up on a lot of homework she missed as she thinks about spending time with friends at the mall. "I got a scooter, a motorized one. So I can keep up. I can run people over", said Victoria. She's definitely got a sense of humor. Heartland News Reporter Crystal Britt asked Victoria to describe herself in one word, she said, "Determined". She wants to go to college and major in Criminal Justice. It's a goal those who know her don't doubt she'll achieve. " I want to go on with life, a normal life."

Because of all the medical expenses, friends have organized two special benefits in Victoria's honor. The details are as follows:

Date: April 14th
Time: 7pm-11pm
Location: K.C. Hall in Cape Girardeau (lower level)
Price: 18 years and younger (with student id)- $5, adults (18 and older)- $10
There will be entertainment, including karaoke and a silent auction.
Also on may 12th there will be a "Trivia Night" at the St. Mary's school gym in Cape Girardeau.
Time: 7:00p.m.  
Cost: $10 per person
Donations can be made through U.S. Bank under Victoria Lowes Donation Account