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Jesse Cuellar paints with his mouth instead of his hands

10:09 PM, Aug 8, 2012   |    comments
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By Mike Bush

St. Louis (KSDK) - As we continue to watch the best athletes in the world win gold medals in London, here in St. Louis NewsChannel 5 has been honoring our own community gold medalists for making a difference.

Some paintings don't come from the easel, they come from the heart.

Jesse Cuellar, 19, has been painting all his life, but only in the last two years has he had to learn to paint without his hands.

"He fell off a roof in 2010 and broke his neck," said his sister, Kelly Cuellar.

A fall like that can take someone to a dark place but Jesse has always been able to appreciate the beauty of life.

"You know, I'm still alive, I'm still here so you know it doesn't matter as long as I could still keep doing what I was doing," said Jesse.

Jesse now speaks to other patients at the Rehab Institute of St. Louis, to encourage them to keep going no matter their circumstance.

"It just gives hope to everyone that there is something out there, if you have the will and the way you can do it," said his occupational therapist, Becky Hamm.

So for inspiring others, Jesse Cuellar gets our Making a Difference gold medal.

Like his paintings, he too is clearly a work of art.

Jesse credits his therapist with his recovery.

For more information on Jesse's artwork, visit his website or his Facebook page.



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