Lizzie Rocco showed little interest in activities after moving to Luther Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation in 2016, save for one thing: adult coloring books.

The way art helped Rocco blossom at the Hatboro, PA, facility, sparked an idea that now has launched her work into the world. 

Randie Duretz, director of activities and volunteers, thought of Lizzie’s penchant for art when she heard the Twilight Wish Foundation, a group that grants wishes to seniors, was looking for candidates. After spotting murals while driving through Philadelphia, Duretz knew she found a group for Rocco to work with: Mural Arts Philadelphia.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this is where I want Lizzie to be,’” she says.

In May, Rocco got her big day at Mural Arts, painting a section of a canvas mural that will grace the side of a church in Philadelphia.  

But the art didn’t stop there — Rocco also decorated bandanas for everyone who accompanied her to Mural Arts. Her work also appears on other rooms at Luther Woods, for residents without art of their own.

It’s a big change from the resident who used to stay in her room, Duretz says. When Rocco learned she had been picked by Twilight Wish, she asked Duretz why she had been chosen. 

“She said, ‘Amazing, why did you pick me?’” Duretz remembers. “And I said, ‘Because you’ve come a long way.’”