This Woman Didn’t Let a Violent Crime End Her Future as an Artist

Above all else, Mariam Paré is an artist.

Paré, who was born in Kenitra, Morocco, but moved to the United States when she was young, was a victim of gun violence, according to her website.

In 1996, the then 20-year-old aspiring artist was sitting in the driver’s seat of a friend’s car when somebody on the sidewalk fired a gun. The bullet went through the car door and struck her in the back of the neck, resulting in a spinal cord injury and permanent paralysis. The gunman was never identified.

Paré has spent the rest of her life as a quadriplegic, but she hasn’t given up on her art. She trained herself to hold a paintbrush in her mouth and now continues to create beautiful portraits, still-lifes and more, according to NBC 11 News.

She’s been accepted into the association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA), an esteemed international, for-profit organization run by artists with disabilities to help them meet their financial needs, according to its website.

“Now I think I’m probably better than I was with my hands,” Paré told NBC.

See some of Mariam Paré’s paintings and hear more about her inspiring story in the video below:

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