TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA)-13 year old DayJonae Walker loves to draw, and her mom says she noticed her daughters love of art even before she could talk, but through the years art has become a kind of release for DayJonae.
Especially since her childhood hasn't been like most of the kids her age.
"She was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 18 months old," says DayJonae's mother, Adrian Rark. "She has been through chemo, radiation, bone marrow transplants, and has had quite a few surgeries, but she is doing really well. We are blessed."
Special needs teacher Jalema Tidwell has been with DayJonae for 8 years now, and says when it comes to art DayJonae just catches right on.
"I have been through several different art teachers," says Tidwell. "I go to the art teacher every year and let them know about DayJonae and her love for art."
DayJonae's most recent art teacher asked her class to draw a 2-D architecture drawing based on a famous Austrian architect.
While completing the assignment DayJonae says she just used her favorite colors.
"I used pink, blue, yellow, and red," says Walker.
Shortly after the assignment was completed her art teacher thought it would be perfect for a contest called "All Kids Can Create."
"I was interested in it because it was for all kids especially special needs kids," says Koonlaba. "That really appealed to me as an art teacher because I think sometimes those students get left out of special programs."
While taking time out of school from a surgery DayJonae found out she had been one of the few who won the contest, meaning her art will appear in the MLK Memorial Library exhibit this summer, but with all the medical bills her mom can't afford to take her to see it.
Now her teachers are stepping in to raise money to get DayJonae to D.C. this August to see her accomplishment and because art is something she wants to do forever.
"I want to be an art teacher because it is fun, and I just love art so much," says Walker.
After having a rough year DayJonae's mom says it would mean the world to get take the trip, and is so grateful that because of her teachers it could become possible.
Amanda Koonlaba and Jalema Tidwell are hoping they can raise enough money to send DayJonae and her mother to Washington D.C. expense free.
The exhibit will feature DayJonaes drawing through the month of August.
For more information contact Mrs. Tidwell or Mrs.Koonlaba at Lawhon Elementary.