Donna Bell is a native of Denham Springs, Louisiana which is how we first met because we are virtual neighbors, about 45 minutes drive between us. When I first met Donna on facebook and checked out her profile pictures, there were several albums, one with pictures of this day in her life that changed every aspect of her life. There were other albums with drawings she had done using only her mouth and even a couple of examples of crochet done also using only her mouth. I was absolutely astonished at what she is able to do with art using only her mouth. We chatted off and on over the past couple of years but recently there was a post that caught my eye and my heart.
Let me start by saying Donna has never had a powered wheelchair, nor a Custom Handicapped Van with a lift, required to transport a heavy chair like that in the 34 years since her accident. For 34 years, her family has had to lift her in and out of standard vehicles.
Last week I happened across a post Donna made about a contest with a grand prize of a new customized van with a lift. I have entered several of these types of contests in the past with my art and never got close to winning. Internet voting can be very unfair. Regardless, I set out to get Donna some votes. Even with my vast social network over many social media platforms, I was only able to generate approximately 1% of what is needed for one of these vans. That fundraiser is now in affect at gofundme.com. If you are in a position to give to this great cause, please visit http://www.gofundme.com/DonnaBell which is Donna's donation page. If you can't give; this is very important, sharing this post could make a huge difference. Please at least share and tweet this story. We need $60,000.00 to get Donna in a new custom van.
On June 28th 1979 Donna was is a horrible car accident. She was only 15 at the time of the wreck which broke her neck leaving her a quadriplegic C3-C4, unable to move from the shoulders down for the past 34 year. I tried to put myself in her shoes and think what would it be like not to feel the grass under my feet, the sand between my toes or to even hug her own Mom. We take so many things for granted and we can all lose them tomorrow. I feel compelled to help Donna reach her goals hence this post and the fundraiser link which I intend to share until the money is raised and I see Donna in that van.
Only since Donna has been paralyzed has she taught herself how to draw and crochet, by mouth, with the encouragement of family and friends as well as a whole lot of determination and commitment. Donna has a collection of her artwork on her facebook fan page if you would like to see more of her work and in greater detail. It's absolutely incredible what Donna is able to achieve artistically. It totally boggles my mind. I've also posted some of Donna's fun photo-manipulation work at the end of the post.
What now for Donna Bell? In time with the spreading of her story and helping to raise awareness of not only her disability but many others, she will be in a new custom van that will help her and her family tremendously. Donna is also scheduled for a featured interview with The Advocate Newspaper in Baton Rouge and a few other things. You'll have to hang around to see what's next. Well, enough of me and my feelings about this; lets take a look at a sampling of the work this precious lady has done using only her mouth.
Yes, with her teeth!!
Donna's Photo-manipulations - Just for fun
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title post: Featured Artist Donna Bell - Quadriplegic - Artist and Much More - Please Read
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