How little Mia’s art helps pay her medical bills

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:44 PM EST
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PERU, N.Y. (WCAX) - Meet Mia Marie Taylor.

You can tell the 5-year-old from Peru, New York, loves to be silly. She never goes anywhere without a smile and painting is her favorite thing to do.

“Every single day,” mom Jessica Furnia said. “She loves it.”

Two days after her third birthday, Mia was diagnosed with autism.

“It blows my mind every day to see how outside of the box she thinks, and I think that’s one of the most beautiful things of the spectrum,” her mom said.

When everything seems to be moving fast, painting helps slow the world down.

“I feel like we understand her more watching her do art and express herself more than verbally,” Jessica said.

Mia has always been creative but her paintings don’t just hang on the fridge as you see in most families. Hers are hanging on the walls of strangers’ homes.

“I want to say last year she raised almost $3,000 between the raffle and the Christmas ornaments,” Jessica said. “She starts very early.”

Each painting, special to Mia, is raffled off to community members. All the money goes right back to the organizations that help Mia so much, like the Autism Alliance. This was not mom Jessica’s idea; it was all Mia.

“She had the idea of, ‘Well, what if I paint?’ I said, ‘You know, I think that’s a great idea, let’s do it,’” Jessica said.

Abstract, animals, ornaments, personalized letters mailed straight to you: Mia has made them all. But this year, the proceeds are staying closer to home. Mia has digestion issues. Next week, she’s scheduled for a 12-hour surgery in New York City where doctors plan to explore her digestive tract. All the money she is raising will go to her medical bills.

Mom says despite the medical issues, Mia is always smiling.

“She’s like stronger than I think I ever could possibly be,” Jessica said.

The community has heard about Mia’s story and is stepping up to help. So far, a GoFundMe page made for next week’s surgery has raised $3,000.

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