13 Young Kidney Patients, 13 Artistic Creations: Online Public Voting Will Select Cover Art For American Kidney Fund 2018 Calendar


Voting in popular ‘Calendar Kids Art Contest’ open March 29-April 14 at www.kidneyfund.org/contest

ROCKVILLE, Maryland (March 29, 2017) – Thirteen pediatric kidney patients across the country are lighting up their social networks asking friends and family to help put their artwork on the cover of the American Kidney Fund’s (AKF) 2018 calendar.

The 13 winners—children and teens who live daily with serious challenges including diet restrictions, dialysis or kidney transplants—were selected from nationwide entries submitted earlier this year in AKF’s annual Calendar Kids Art Contest. Online voting to select the cover art is underway on AKF’s website and will continue until April 14.
Each winner receives a gift card, and the young artist who gets the most votes will also travel to Washington, D.C., to be recognized during AKF’s annual gala, The Hope Affair, this fall.

The winners of the 2017 Calendar Kids Art Contest, whose artwork will appear in the 2018 AKF calendar, are:

• Felixa Benavides, 15, of Houston: “Dialysis to Transplant”
• Symone Charles, 16, of Houston: “Girl and Her Dog”
• Lhaia Haunga, 9, of Honolulu: “Hawaii’s Healthy Picture Mix”
• Sally Kawtharani, 16, of Tarzana, California: “Kidney Coming Soon”
• Skyler Moats, 14, of Elkins, West Virginia: “A Fighting Chance”
• Ethan Norton, 6, of Vancouver, Washington: “Teamwork Always Wins”
• Julia Pizarro, 14, of Greenbelt, Maryland: “The Moon and The Sun”
• Bethany Riegart, 11, of Manchester, Maryland: “A Gift for You!”
• Kate Rosenauer, 11, of Tigard, Oregon: “Always Bloom Happiness in Your Garden”
• Sylvia Sanchez, 16, of Ontario, California: “Fishing for Hope”
• Christy Schlueter, 13, of Dodgeville, Wisconsin: "Winter Fun"
• Keegan Smith, 15, of Conway, Arkansas: “Sharing the Love”
• Kaylee Townsley, 11, of Baltimore: “The Rainbow Heart”

“We are always so inspired by the creative submissions we receive for our annual art contest,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. “In the face of serious health challenges, these young artists produce beautiful artwork that will inspire people all year long. We are honored to feature these drawings in our calendar and to ask the public to select the cover art.”

Since 1995, the AKF Calendar Kids Art Contest has provided an opportunity for pediatric kidney patients to express themselves through artwork and to receive national recognition. Distributed nationwide, the calendar helps raise awareness of kidney disease and the importance of prevention and early detection. More than 5,700 children in the U.S. are living with kidney failure, which can only be treated by dialysis or transplantation.

More than 4,500 people voted to select last year’s cover winner. Please visit the American Kidney Fund’s website to vote for the 2018 calendar cover artwork.

The 2018 calendars will be available for purchase through AKF’s website beginning in October. For more information about the Calendar Kids Art Contest and other AKF programs for children, visit KidneyFund.org.

About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 31 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.

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

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