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Most of us take our physical abilities for granted. We can’t even fathom a time when we are no longer able to walk or run or do something as simple as raising our arms over our heads. Unfortunately, life is not always that easy for everyone. It is certainly not easy for Ekaterina “Kate” Borodulkina who began to exhibit symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy just a few months after she was born. She was diagnosed officially when she was only four years old but the disease had already progressed rapidly.

Muscular Dystrophy prevents the body from producing the necessary proteins to make your muscles work. Usually affecting the very young, some of the most common symptoms are gradual weakening of the muscles, frequently becoming unbalanced, losing the ability to walk and difficulty in breathing. While the symptoms can be treated in order to keep the disease from progressing too quickly, there is no cure for it at present.

If you aren’t sure what it is like to have this disease, think of the character Trevor in the Fundamentals of Caring played by Welsh actor Craig Haydn Roberts. Just like Trevor, Kate cannot walk or even stand up by herself. She cannot raise her arms or even sit up without support. She even needs a machine to help her breath. However, as young as she is, Kate has chosen to not let her disease define her or control what she wants to achieve in her life.

Even though Kate could not learn things like walking and standing up by herself due to the disease weakening her muscles at a very early age, she didn’t let that get in the way of her inborn talent – art. Her skill as an artist showed itself when she was only two, sitting in her high chair and doodling away with pencils. Fortunately for Kate, her parents were quick to recognize her potential and they put her in an art school for kids when she turned three.

Kate is now 10 years old and she has already produced many breath-taking works of art. Lying on her side with her brush gripped tightly in her hands, Kate brings to life all kinds of animals, sceneries, plants and flowers with some deft, well placed strokes. She’s already achieved international fame and her paintings have been exhibited in many places.

Moreover, Kate is a wonderful example of the impact art has on our lives. It is not an easy task for her to lift her hand. In fact, it is quite painful but she’s resilient and whenever you see her painting, she does it smiling because she knows that in her personal struggle, she’s definitely emerging as the winner. After hours of gruelling physiotherapy every day, she comes back to her canvas and her colours and escapes into creating something beautiful. And what’s more she still has time to chill with her friends!

All of us stand to learn something from Kate. She’s living proof that sheer will power and determination can transcend even the most excruciating of physical restrictions. To find out more about how Kate works, check out this video below:

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