Susie and Amanda’s Story
Susie Matthias currently resides in London, Ontario where she was born. Susie was born without arms or legs as a result of the drug Thalidomide. Interestingly 2012 is also the 50th anniversary from when the drug was banned in Canada.
Susie has been painting since childhood and joined the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) in the early nineties. Her artwork has been featured across Canada and she even won a national competition that had one of her paintings featured on a special Christmas stamp issued by Canada Post. When she isn’t busy painting, Susie enjoys activities like swimming and electric wheelchair floor hockey.
Amanda Orichefsky is the youngest MFPA member in Canada and lives in Scarborough, Ontario. Amanda was diagnosed with Arthrogryposis at birth which put her feet up near her face. She started surgeries when she was just three weeks old to lower her legs and feet down to a normal level.
Amanda is a student of the MFPA and receives a scholarship to further her artistic talents. She attended George Brown College where she graduated in 2010 with a diploma in Fine Arts & Animation and is now enrolled in art classes to develop her painting skills.
When not in classes or painting, Amanda works as an ambassador for Variety Village and represents them at Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Argonaut games. Amanda has also been featured in a Ronald McDonald House Charities commercial where she was asked to give a demonstration of her mouth painting skills to hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.
You can watch Susie and Amanda talk about the campaign on Canada AM here: http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/mouth-and-foot-painters-defy-stereotypes-in-cross-canada-project-1.918331