BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Congenital muscular dystrophy is a disease that can cause all the muscles of the body, including even the heart, the lungs, and the vocal cords, to deteriorate.

The mind and the spirit, however, can remain untouched. Local artist Darren Guest is proof. His body confines him to a wheelchair, but his talent is boundless.

“Freedom. Freedom. It’s the only true freedom I have is in my art,” Guest said.

Guest was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of two. At six, his parents were told he’d spend his life in a wheelchair.

“I was very fortunate at an early age to have discovered my passion in life, and that is to be an artist,” Guest said.

Guest’s passion for art came early. His belief in his talent grew at Carver Center for Arts and Technology.

Guest was accepted to attend school at MICA, but he found it difficult to attend. So now, he works at home and at a local studio.

“Somebody sees his work and they’re amazed by his work and then they go, he did that,”?

Guest draws and paints from photos, and from memory, of places that he can no longer visit.

Former Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, and other Ravens players, are among those who have portraits that Guest has painted.

“I just have to control that paintbrush,” Guest said. “That’s what I can do.”

Guest hopes that sharing his story will remind everyone, no matter what we go through, we can persevere and find meaning in life.

“I think my story is about the human spirit,” Guest said.

Guest is now beginning to take on teaching students. If you’d like to learn more about him, you can click here.

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