The Saints have a lot of fans, but there’s one super fan from Pascagoula, Mississippi who paints for the Saints.
In return, the players are helping her in a super way.
27-year old, Katy Blake paints what she loves.
“I started painting because I was depressed, so I started painting as mental therapy. When I first picked up a paint brush I painted a ‘Who Dat’ painting.
Blake didn’t always paint. She decided to pick up a paintbrush after a canoe trip with friends lead to a horrible diving accident back in June of 2010.
“As soon as I jumped I knew it was too shallow. As I hit the bottom, everything became numb,” she said.
Instead of becoming numb to life, Katy decided to take matters into her own hands.
“I’m living life, and happy, and not going to give up. From the first day in the hospital, my mom said to me, ‘Katy, who you are is not in your legs, it’s in your mind and heart,” Blake said.
After struggles with insurance and trying to find ways to pay expensive medical bills, Katy knew in her heart…something close to her heart could help.
“Drew Brees, of course. His book really inspired me. Our situations are different, but at the same time so similar. He was able to overcome his own adversity,” she said.
She’s friends with a personal trainer who works for the Saints. She then got the idea of painting a fleur de lis, in hopes she could get all her favorite players to autograph it. She’d then auction it off to help fund her rehab. She’d like to go to Project Walk, a rehab facility in California.
“The Saints are an inspiration to me. After Katrina, they came back bigger and better than ever. My goal is to coem back bigger and better than ever. The fact that I got to meet the Saints would’ve never happened had it not been for the accident. So many opportunities have come from it,” she said.
Life in a wheelchair isn’t easy, but Katy knows with the Saints on her side that anything is possible.
“I hope whoever bids on this autographed painting understands that they’re not only getting Saints autographs but they are helping someone whose trying to help themselves,” Blake said.
Katy’s online eBay auction for her Saints painting begins on Monday, January 27th and lasts through February 3rd, the day after the Super Bowl. All the money goes to help Katy get back to rehab. Bidding starts at $100.
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