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Triplets of Terra Environmental Score 13-Year Perfect Attendance Record

But don't call them peas in a pod or birds of a feather. They are different people with divergent interests.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    South Florida Triplets Are Making a Difference

    Ana, Albert, and Victoria Rey are seniors at Terra Environmental Research Institute, an all-magnet public high school in Kendall. Since kindergarten, they have never missed a day of school. NBC 6's Ari Odzer reports.

    (Published Friday, May 24, 2019)

    So if it's true that 80% of success is just showing up, as Woody Allen once said, than the Rey triplets are on the way to big things.

    Ana, Albert, and Victoria Rey are seniors at Terra Environmental Research Institute, an all-magnet public high school in Kendall. Since kindergarten, they have never missed a day of school.

    Perfect attendance for 13 years.

    "I'm really proud of it," said Victoria, understating a remarkable achievement.

    "I think it happened because my parents were afraid of what would happen if you left three kids alone in a house for too long," laughed Ana.

    "I've always had a constant thirst to learn," Albert said, explaining his reasons for never missing a day.

    Rey means king in Spanish, and the Rey siblings are the monarchs of attendance at Terra. But don't call them peas in a pod or birds of a feather. They are different people with divergent interests.

    Albert wants to become a computer engineer, Victoria sees herself as a doctor one day, and Ana wants to become a teacher. She's the extrovert and oldest of the three, by sixty seconds over middle triplet Albert.

    "The most important minute in my life is the one between me and my brother!" Ana said.

    "That one minute means the world to her," Albert said.

    It's hard to picture now, as they're on the verge of graduating, but the high school experience wasn't always smooth for the triplets. Vicky was diagnosed with thyroid cancer right at the beginning of freshman year.

    "Her disease was a wake-up call for me, there were things that I had to be truly grateful for," Ana said. "I was with her for everything, every ultrasound, every appointment, we went after school, we did our homework in the car."

    "She came here with a neck brace and she dealt with all of it and I'm really proud of her," Albert said.

    "I felt weak, it was painful, but I just pushed on through it, got my work done, kept going," Vicky explained.

    So even after cancer surgery and during treatments, Vicky never missed a day of school. She insisted on going to school first on the morning of the surgery, a Friday.

    "She was in the hospital for 18 hours and those were the hardest 18 hours of my life, and then she was back Monday morning," Ana said.

    Vicky uses the experience as motivation.

    "Like if I could get through that I could get through anything, I don't make many excuses about it because I was like, oh, if I got through a year of that I can get through going to school every day, staying up late to do a project, whatever I need to do," Vicky said.

    One of her teachers, Jessica Giro, was diagnosed with the same cancer at almost the same time.

    "So I went through the treatment first, and she went through the treatment and we just became like a support system for each other," Giro explained, saying she was in awe of her student's determination to continue going to school regardless of the pain and discomfort she was experiencing.

    "Victoria inspired me," Giro added.

    The triplets were preemies. It's amazing they survived at all, so for 18 years, the Rey siblings have been defying the odds.

    Now they're splitting up, going to different colleges on full scholarship, leaving a legacy of achievement and perseverance behind.

    Ana and Albert says they'll always be inspired by their slightly younger sister.

    "She may be the youngest but she's definitely, I think, the biggest person out of the three of us and I'm following her in her footsteps and I just want to be more like her every day," Ana said.