Born on 8 November 1936 in Koski, Anja Hämäläinen--Numminen contracted polio in 1951 and lost the use of her arms. It took Anja, who had always enjoyed embroidering, knitting and drawing patterns, three or four years before she began to paint and draw with a utensil in her mouth. She decided to take lessons in different painting styles with trained teachers. In 1965 she was granted a scholarship by the Association. This gave her the opportunity to intensify her painting activities. In 1980 she became a Full Member of the AMFPA.