Mississippi Child’s Drawing Wins Calendar Cover in American Kidney Fund’s National Art Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jackson boy’s drawing received the most votes in national ‘Calendar Kids Art Contest’ for pediatric kidney patients

ROCKVILLE, Md. (May 30, 2018) – After weeks of online voting, 7-year-old De’Nahri Middleton of Jackson, Mississippi, is the winner of the American Kidney Fund’s (AKF) annual art contest for pediatric kidney patients, putting his drawing on the cover of AKF’s 2019 calendar and earning him a trip to Washington, D.C.

De’Nahri was one of 13 finalists in AKF’s 23rd annual Calendar Kids Art Contest whose artwork was featured on AKF’s website for three weeks during which members of the public could vote for their favorite drawing. Several thousand people nationwide cast online votes and De’Nahri’s drawing, “Kidneyman: Gives Us Magic Water to Save Our Kidneys,” came out on top with almost 800 votes. De’Nahri’s drawing is a symbol of strength and hope for kids like him who are battling kidney disease.

“I am really amazed,” said De’Nahri. “I felt like I already won since I made it to the top 13. I am so excited that I finally get to ride on an airplane!”

AKF’s 2019 calendar featuring De'Nahri’s winning artwork on the cover will be published in October and available for purchase on AKF’s website, KidneyFund.org. De’Nahri will be recognized during the American Kidney Fund’s annual gala, The Hope Affair, on Oct. 3 in Washington.

“De’Nahri’s whimsical drawing perfectly captures the indomitable spirit of kids fighting kidney disease, and we congratulate him on being selected as our 2019 cover artist,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. “We look forward to seeing him in Washington this fall.”

Before De'Nahri was born, he was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney disease called hydronephrosis and he was only 5 months old when his right kidney had to be removed. Now a first-grader at Davis Magnet Elementary School, De’Nahri has already had10 surgeries. Despite all his health obstacles, De’Nahri is energetic, keeps a positive attitude and gets good grades in school. He enjoys drawing, reading, watching superhero movies and watching the University of Miami football games. De’Nahri also enjoys encouraging others living with kidney disease and helping raise money for other kidney patients.

Dozens of children and teens with kidney disease from across the United States submitted their artwork for this popular annual contest. AKF’s Calendar Kids Art Program provides an opportunity for pediatric kidney patients to express themselves through artwork and to receive national recognition while increasing awareness of kidney disease throughout the United States.

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling 1 in 5 U.S. dialysis patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation. AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.

For more information, please visit KidneyFund.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.