Like most 7-year-olds, Maurianna Morris loves to color and paint. Her favorite colors are pink and purple. A love for arts and crafts is pretty normal for a child. What Mauri is doing with her art work is far from common.
"How many pictures have you already sold this year?" asked FOX 35 Reporter Holly Bristow. "I don't know, maybe about 10," Mauri replied.
Mauri is not trying to become rich and famous, she's selling her pieces for a very noble cause. "So I can raise money for the American Cancer Society," she explains. With that money she's hoping to cure cancer, a disease she knows all too much about at her young age. "Because my dad had cancer and he had to go to heaven," she explains.
Mauri's mom was 8-months pregnant when doctors discovered her husband, Sam, had brain cancer. Sam had his first brain surgery 6 weeks before Mauri was born. His baby girl was his pride and joy. "When they met and he held her the first time, they just connected. She was his," said Mauri's mom Lindsey Morris.
Mauri has a few memories of her dad. "He was really funny. I liked to dance with him a lot," said Mauri. Knowing his days were numbered, Sam spent as much time as he could with his little blonde, blue eyed cutie. Sam passed away shortly after Mauri's 2nd birthday. He was just 27. "What do you miss most about your dad?" asked Bristow. "I don't know... I just miss him," said Mauri.
It's only normal that sometimes she has a hard time talking about her dad. "For a while she didn't like to talk about losing her dad. We talked about happy memories, the silly things and what they would do. But she didn't ever want to talk about him being gone," said Lindsey.
That all changed one night a few months ago. "How did you get the idea to do this?" asked Bristow referring to Mauri's art. "I got the idea because of a dream. One night I said to my mom, what can I do to help," said Mauri. "I asked her how can she help what? 'How can I help cancer go away?'" said Lindsey.
Lindsey said they could participate in some American Cancer Society fundraisers. Mauri started raising money by selling her swing set and some other toys. Then, she came up with a more sustainable idea. "She said I'm a great artist...people will by my art," said Lindsey.
Mauri now paints bird houses, colors some pieces in crayon, and comes up with original paintings. "I just came up with the idea of painting a bird because my uncle has a bird," said Mauri.
She uses bright happy colors. Her most recent art includes a special cancer edition, complete with the signature ribbons along with the words "brave" and "fight". Mauri's mom tells her stories about how brave her dad was fighting cancer as long as possible trying to make sure Mauri would remember him one way or another. "He made her cards all the way up to her 18th birthday. and he has gifts for her in storage. He wanted her to know he loved her. His whole time after she was born until he left was for her," said Lindsey.
It's love this child obviously feels, and wishes she could touch. That's why she's started her own website. She hopes to sell as much art as she can. She's asking that people, "Buy my art to help find a cure so that no one would get sick with cancer and no other little kids would lose their moms or dads again," said Mauri. She'd like to save other children the emotional battle she fights daily of missing her dad.
If you'd like to buy some of Mauri's artwork, visit her website: Maurisworld.com