One Coloring Book Changes Utica, New York Man’s Life After Brain Injury
At the age of 18 with so much more life left to live, John Biagini of Utica was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury that according to his family, left him emotionless. Now at the age of 26, for the first time since his diagnosis, he has finally found something he has a passion for.
"John was a straight-A student, he played every sport you could think of," says his sister Amy Aceto. "He was Mr. Popular and I knew his future was going to be so bright."
Then, the diagnosis happened. Aceto says that the only answers the family could get from doctors involved medication. But, as a family, they found a way to power through and make the best out of this new, unexpected chapter in their lives.
A crack on his skull has led to heavy medications and 24-hour care for Biagini. He doesn't speak much and has major anxiety - keeping him very limited on where he goes and what he does.
Aceto says that her brother used to be an incredible artist.
I remember him drawing so perfectly with pencil, you would literally think it was out of a magazine. I couldn’t believe this kid was an artist on top of everything else.
That's what led her mother to purchase one particular item for Biagini with hopes that it would help him regain some muscle memory.
My mom bought him a coloring book and crayons and he has been at it ever since.
Biagini has been hard at work creating this artwork and asked his family if he could start selling his colorings for interested buyers. It has been such a successful business venture for him, in fact, that he has hundreds of art requests pending with over $600 in profit for him.
Aceto says that once the family explains that there are people interested in buying his work - that he very excitedly nods.
For just $2, you can purchase some drawings yourself to benefit Biagini. You will get the coloring signed by the talented artist himself.
Aceto is hoping to sometime in the near future, set up a group for others who are dealing with a brain injury autism, or mental health, like her brother.
If you'd like to purchase one of the colorings - you can find Aceto on Facebook below. She says to reach out to her there.