Meet Saydie, an 8 year old with a big dream and an even bigger heart. While many of her peers spent their summer at the beach, playing in the park, or playing video games, Miss Saydie spent a large part of her summer painting. She paints in colors that make her happy. She paints intuitively, from the heart.
When Saydie’s passion for painting became apparent, her father Alex, founder of Square Up, a non-profit assisting people experiencing homelessness, rallied behind her to create a space for her to paint and a platform for her to share her work. As her collection of canvases grew, her work was posted on Alex’s Facebook page and sold. Over 20 of her pieces now hang in homes and offices.
Saydie is eager to earn enough money to purchase a Nintendo Switch, but she is a girl with a grander plan. For each painting she sells, she gives some money away, saves some for her college fund, and sets some aside for spending. She dreams of attending college and of a career which will affect change in her community.
When Saydie heard about Art with Heart, she wanted to contribute to our efforts to help people afford goods and services to heal from Lyme Disease. An 8 year old has no idea of the magnitude of costs involved in financing Lyme+, but Saydie has a compassionate heart and a desire to give. She found the biggest canvas she had and began to paint. Her piece is titled “Lyme” and it speaks to the nature of this disease. It is filled with the colors of nature; of green and brown in various shades and tones. It is abstract and filled with movement. When I look at it I am filled with hope and peace. I feel comforted knowing that a small girl with a very big heart gave a piece of herself away to help someone she does not know and will never meet.
While I was admiring her work, she told me to pick another piece to auction off with “Lyme”. This smaller piece is reminiscent of Jackson Pollock and is titled “My Mind”. I did not know the title when I chose it and of course it compliments “Lyme” perfectly! Lyme is a disease that gets in your mind literally and metaphorically. Lyme spirochetes have the ability to cross the blood barrier and neurological Lyme causes severe illness and at times death. For those battling Lyme, it is always on our mind: how to pay for it, how to heal from it, how to make doctors understand it, how to make the CDC recognize it, how to feel heard, accepted, cared for and supported, how to access doctors that are booked months in advance and do not take insurance and how to find community that can lift you up when you feel down.
Saydie’s pieces will be available for auction on Facebook January 22, 2022. The money raised will go directly to those we serve, people fighting a battle against Lyme and coinfections. Saydie is child who is helping to carry the burden of Lyme. I hope you will join us at Art with Heart 2022 and bid on her art. We are very grateful for her partnership!