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North Bay woman living with cerebral palsy shares passion for art

San Rafael woman overcomes cerebral palsy to pursue painting
San Rafael woman overcomes cerebral palsy to pursue painting 03:01

A North Bay woman isn't letting cerebral palsy and her limited mobility stop her from pursuing her passion.

Some activities hold a special place in your heart. For Mia Brown, that activity is the art of painting. Through the support she receives from Casa Allegra services, Brown, who has cerebral palsy, has found creative ways to do what she loves.

While Brown was introduced to her love for art in high school, with her family also hailing from a lineage of artists, she believes it's in her blood. Today, at 56 years old, the art she produces still gives her joy.

With the mobility that she does have through her neck, Brown paints through a brush attached to her helmet, often using bright colors and listening to some R&B while she creates.

Brown says gifting her art works to her family gives her a sense of purpose.

Virginia Wolff works as a direct support professional for Brown, when she shares what Brown is saying to others, it is called "echoing." 

"What do you feel when you share your art?" KPIX's Loureen Ayyoub asked.

"Happy," Mia replied.

"Do they love your art?"

"Oh yeah," she said enthusiastically.

As Brown continues to challenge herself with new artistic goals, she wants to change the perception around people with disabilities, showcasing the humanity and capacity of the community.

In, fact, she believes, we all have a lot more in common than we realize.

"Everybody has a disability," she said.

And, according to Chris Bonfiglio, the founder of Casa Allegra Services, everybody deserves the support needed to live a life of dignity. He helped Brown secure a collaboration with Jansport, through ArtLifting, an opportunity to show off her paintings to more people.

"People with disabilities are incredibly capable human beings, and if you ever have the opportunity to interact and get to know people with disabilities, your life will never be the same," Bonfiglio said.

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