FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - An 18 year old from Fargo has had quite the roller coaster ride this past year. Victoria Hoggarth found out that her life as a four-sport athlete, would never be the same. Despite the challenge, a trip she took has transformed her mentality.
Zip-lining, swimming with sharks, hiking Mayan ruins, and sleeping in huts above turquoise waters, imagine doing it all in the country of Belize.
Sounds like something out of an adventure movie, but it was reality for Victoria Hoggarth, and her family.
This is after she learned her shortness of breath was actually a heart-condition.
"I was initially just mad, I didn't understand why," Victoria explained.
It’s called ARVC: Arrhythogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy.
Victoria explains her condition saying, "When my heart beats, rather than beating a normal beat, it turns into scar tissue."
Which means Victoria's heart is too big and she now lives with a pacemaker.
"Last September, I was diagnosed so that's when I got taken out of sports, I had surgery, that's when everything kind of changed."
Knowing that her life would change, her family submitted Victoria’s name to the Make A Wish Foundation.
Her father, Torey Hoggarth explained the submission process, "We should try to see if she's a candidate, she sent in and they accepted it and kind of went from there."
For a brief period of time, the Hoggarth Family could forget about doctor’s visits and medical bills.
"Good experience to get all five of us together and kind of put things behind," Torey says.
Cheryl, Victoria’s mom agrees, "Given her the opportunity to do physical things that we hadn't thought she could do before."
The time Victoria spent in Belize was focused on creating a new chapter in her life without thinking about her limitations.
"I don't really focus on my health anymore, it's still there obviously. But it's not what I focus on every day. It showed me there's more to life than just my condition," says Victoria.