Sometimes it takes a challenge in life to push us to a new level of determination. For self-proclaimed “mouth-painter,” Mariam Paré, nothing could be more true.
When she was 20 years old, the aspiring young painter went to visit her friend in Virginia. It was there her life would change forever. During her visit, Mariam was shot in the back by an unknown assailant.
The incident left her paralyzed, with only limited function in her hands.
At the time, Mariam's life felt over. Once able to express herself through beautiful paintings, Mariam struggled to even write her own name.
After a year of depression, Mariam's occupational therapist suggested she try using her mouth as a tool to write and paint.
Slowly, Mariam began experimenting with painting again, and before long, she was able to once again paint beautiful portraits using only her mouth to control her brush strokes.
Now, Mariam is using her talent to send a message to newly-elected President Donald Trump. In an open letter to the president, Mariam asks President Trump to look out for disabled Americans like herself when revising the nation's healthcare system.
President Trump, I strongly urge you to avoid using block grants for Medicaid. Many great thinkers believe that a move like this could result in a loss of healthcare coverage for millions of people who are poor, sick and old.
Please find it within yourself to help protect the ADA. We have only had the ADA for 26 years and are still a long way from equality. Mr. Trump, I hope you will be our ally and oppose bills or legislation that may obstruct the hard-won protections afforded to people with disabilities under the ADA. President Trump, in your victory speech, you pledged to every citizen of our land that you will be a president for all Americans. You say 'I will not let you down. I will always be your voice. I will always be your champion.' My question to you Mr. Trump is... will you be my voice? Sincerely, Mariam Paré
To see more of Mariam's paintings, you can check out her website.