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‘Why not me’: Artist battling multiple sclerosis determined to keep creating

RICHMOND, Va. -- Evi Burgin fondly remembers her ability to hold a paint brush. Now she can only admire her artwork. She has created sketches of people she knew and places she lived like Africa and Israel.

“I took art in high school and then college,” said Burgin. “I just like to look at it. It’s peaceful.”

The ravages of multiple sclerosis have taken their toll over the decades.

Evi's artwork

“When I came back to America I started losing use of my right hand,” she said.

But the 72-year old isn’t letting the disease, which affects the central nervous system, to rob her zest for life.

“I don’t think it changed me. Physically yes. Not mentally,” added Burgin.

The former occupational therapist is still creating. Burgin’s artistic outlet is writing and singing songs. Her songbook numbers more than one hundred and counting.

“I like it. I like singing it,” said Burgin. “Don’t worry. Be happy. That was a good song somebody wrote.”

Evi Burgin

Themes for Burgin’s creations aren’t doom and gloom for the way life used to be. Burgin’s tunes uplift.

“Very Happy. I’m Blessed. I have peace in my heart,” said Burgin. “I believe in speaking positive and thinking positive.”

Friend Jane McAllister is awestruck but not surprised at Burgin’s determination.

“Oh she is a delight. Interesting. Provocative. Challenging. She powers through.”

Through all of her hardships Burgin has never asked ‘Why Me?’

Evi Burgin and Jane McAllister

“Actually I was asking why not me because people were dying and I was surviving and I was asking why did I survive and why didn’t they survive.”

Burgin has even fought and beat cancer twice. Burgin’s solid faith and spirituality helps see her through the darkness.

“I know I’m going to heaven when the time comes. Why shouldn’t I be happy? It is a great future.”

Evi Burgin. An artist who paints the sky with her voice.