While looking at 10-year-old Kaylee Johnson's artwork, it is clear her favorite color is orange.

A flower painted by Kaylee appears to flutter in the sun's bright orange rays, while in another piece the color gives a bright touch to the eyes of an owl.

Since September, Kaylee has honed her art skills in a class with other children her age who are discovering art.

"It's like her special place where she can just go and do and be completely independent and create whatever she wants to create," Joshua Johnson, Kaylee's father said.

For Kaylee, art represents more than just a chance to be creative, but a chance to be independent and free from many of the obstacles she has faced throughout her life.

In 2005, Melissa Johnson's pregnancy seemed to be going fine before she and her husband made their way to a doctor's appointment to find out the sex of their first child.

Within hours, they were on their way to Dallas to see a specialist. Although Mrs. Johnson said doctors couldn't tell them exactly what was wrong with their little girl, she said they were told to consider termination because the pregnancy was "not compatible with life."

"Our faith was the biggest thing that kept us going," Mrs. Johnson said. "Knowing that God would see us through."

On Dec. 2, 2005, Kaylee was born. Since then, she has been diagnosed with several medical conditions. Mrs. Johnson said she was told that one diagnosis, paternal uniparental disomy 14, was the 15th reported case in the world.

Mrs. Johnson added she was told her daughter would not walk, talk or do much more than sit with assistance.

Although Mrs. Johnson said it didn't happen quickly, Miss Johnson can now walk, talk, read and much more.

There have been many hospitals stays - Kaylee receives third grade homebound school instruction - but she has persevered.

"She doesn't seem to get defeated," Mrs. Johnson said. "She's got this sunshine about her."

As an angel in the East Texas Angel Network, Kaylee and her mother have helped raise funds by speaking to donors.

Miss Johnson's latest endeavor to inspire others was an art show held at a local assisted living facility.

While the family said their journey hasn't always been easy, they've always known Miss Johnson was special and are encouraged by her strength each day.

"You think you're having a hard day and you see this little girl and she doesn't let anything get her down," Mrs. Johnson said. "There is a light in Kaylee that changes people."




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