Alabama Girl Wins American Kidney Fund's 20th Annual Art Contest for Pediatric Kidney Patients


ROCKVILLE, MD (April 9, 2015) – Eight-year-old Kaylee Clabough of Hartselle, Alabama, is the winner in the American Kidney Fund’s 20th annual art contest for pediatric kidney patients.

Children from around the United States submitted artwork in January and February to the American Kidney Fund (AKF), the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization serving people with and at-risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) . AKF featured 13 finalists’ artwork on its website in March, and asked the public to vote for a winner. More than 4,000 people voted. Kaylee’s drawing, “The Life Saver,” emerged the winner with more than 500 votes.

Kaylee’s drawing will appear on the cover of AKF’s 2016 calendar, and AKF will honor Kaylee in person at the organization’s annual gala, The Hope Affair, in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30.

Over the past year, Kaylee was treated for hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious condition that caused her to suffer acute kidney injury. Kaylee was on dialysis over the summer and underwent seven months of intravenous drug therapy. Today, she is in better health, but doctors are monitoring her to ensure the HUS has not returned.

Despite the health challenges she has endured, Kaylee maintains a positive attitude. She is active in soccer and basketball, enjoys school, and loves to read. Her winning drawing reflects her outlook on life. A self-portrait, it depicts a smiling girl with an intravenous bag hooked up to her arm, surrounded by words such as “love,” “joy” and “health.”

“I got my idea for the drawing when I was getting my IVs,” Kaylee explained. “I thought of all the things I am thankful for.”

LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund, said that Kaylee exemplifies the positive spirit of thousands of children who have entered AKF’s art contest over the past 20 years.

“Each year we receive beautiful artwork from children across the country. Their drawings express optimism and hope, even in the face of serious health challenges,” said Burton. “Kaylee inspires us with her positive outlook, and it will be an honor for all of us at AKF to feature her art on the calendar cover and to recognize her at The Hope Affair.”