Finding Refuge in Art; Starlight Kid, Ramona, Recognized by Michaels Stores

11-year-old Ramona drawing her favorite animal, a wolf, on a large canvas.

You will always find eleven-year-old, Ramona, with a colored pencil or paintbrush in her hand. She just finished painting a beautiful sunset on a canvas in her room. She’s eager to start another one.

“She comes home from school and immediately starts drawing,” Jane, Ramona’s mom says.

Ramona drawing while she recovers from heart and lung surgery this past summer.

Ramona was born with multiple heart defects. She has had 16 heart surgeries with two just this past summer. In June, she had an 18-hour heart and lung surgery to reduce pressure on the right side of her heart. During the procedure, her left vocal cord was paralyzed which left her unable to speak or eat for a month. The road to recovery was hard, especially because she couldn’t make art right away. 

“After surgery, she was receiving so many steroids for her lungs that her hands were shaking too much to hold a pencil,” Jane said. “That was one of the only times that I saw her look defeated, because she couldn’t draw.” 

Ramona’s wolf drawing.

With a lot of patience and hard work, Ramona was able to pick up a pencil again.

“We all celebrated when she was able to start drawing after her surgery,” Jane said.

Ramona is home and finishing sixth grade. Because of her heart defect, she can’t participate in PE or many outdoor activities, so art is her refuge at home and at school.  Ramona has the talent to draw anything her mind comes up with and it’s always sketched out beautifully. 

“I love to draw on big canvases,” Ramona said. “I love drawing dragons and wolves.” 

Ramona’s Tote is Now Available at a Michaels Store Near You

Ramona with her winter tote bag that’s sold at Michaels Store across the US.

Michaels Stores selected Ramona’s artwork to be featured on a winter tote bag that is now sold at Michaels Stores across the nation. 

“What’s cool is that Michaels is my favorite store,” Ramona said excitedly. “They have stuff I can’t find at any other stores.”

Ramona drew the sparkling Christmas tree for all to enjoy. Her artwork is an adaptation of the holiday card she designed last year for her family. She hopes her art can help others smile this season and get them in the holiday spirit. 

The totes are available at Michaels Stores while supplies last. Proceeds of each bag go directly to Starlight, so we can continue our mission to bring joy and comfort to hospitalized kids and their families.

About the Author

Tara Millspaugh

Digital Media Manager

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