Sometimes in life, we endure tragedy that redefines us but sometimes we endure tragedy and we redefine it. Mariam Paré was born with talent and art in her veins and at the age of 20, an injury threatened to take that away. After a bullet pierced her spinal cord, leaving her a quadriplegic, many might have thought she had two choices; to continue living her dreams or to give up completely. If you ask Mariam, she had one, that choice was to keep living her dreams; even when it seemed impossible.
A senseless act of gun violence changed Mariam’s life, but it also ignited a fire inside of her. After years of rehabilitation where she had to learn to do even the most simple everyday tasks again, she is a world-renowned artist and someone who has given a name and a face to mouth painting. The road to adjusting to her new life wasn’t paved with gold, nor was it easy, but it was worth it to have that feeling again – the one she felt when she was painting – and she’s inspired people ever since.
We got to speak to Mariam about that life-changing moment, how she was taught to paint again, and how we can all contribute to helping spread the word about mouth painters and the incredible talent and dedication they have in their hearts.
Mariam was accepted into the MFPA in 2006 and found more survivors who also continued to chase their dreams, and what they’ve accomplished is amazing. The MFPA, as a group, has art all over the world, and some of it is available for us to purchase. From cards and jigsaw puzzles to calendars and children’s products – the art available from the MFPA is available in some form for everyone.
To find out more about Mariam, the MFPA, and how to help their organization, you can visit their website here. You’ll find stories of hope, inspiration, and love – we could all use a little more of that.