12-year-old Louisiana Kidney Patient’s Art to Appear on Cover of American Kidney Fund 2017 Calendar


Shreveport girl’s art wins most online votes in popular ‘Calendar Kids Art Contest’ for pediatric kidney patients

ROCKVILLE, Maryland (April 7, 2016) – The Presidential primaries may still be underway, but at least one election this season has a clear winner: 12-year-old Caroline Fisher from Shreveport, Louisiana. Caroline’s artwork received the most votes in the American Kidney Fund’s (AKF) annual Calendar Kids Art Contest and will be featured on the cover of AKF’s 2017 calendar. AKF’s Calendar Kids Program is made possible thanks to generous support from Amgen and Genentech.

More than 4,500 people nationwide cast online votes to select the cover art from among 13 winners whose art will appear in the calendar. Caroline’s drawing of a horse, titled “The Southern Valley,” was inspired while driving through the countryside to visit her aunt in Arkansas.

Caroline, who is awaiting a kidney transplant, has been on dialysis since 2013. Because of her illness, Caroline has had to give up one of her favorite activities, gymnastics, though she still enjoys drawing, sewing, watching movies and hanging out with friends and family. She keeps a positive attitude, offering this advice to other kids with kidney disease: “You might think it is over, but if you keep fighting and hold on to the things you love it will get better.” Caroline plans to go to college to be a veterinarian or to learn to be an animator.

As the cover art winner, Caroline will be recognized at the American Kidney Fund’s annual gala, The Hope Affair, in Washington, D.C., this fall.

The other 12 winners—all children like Caroline who live daily with serious challenges including diet restrictions, dialysis or kidney transplants—will have their artwork featured inside the calendar:

  • Alejandro Aleman, 13, of San Bernardino, California: “Generating Life”
  • Voss Issel, 12, of Encinitas, California: “Rainbow Mountains”
  • Jathniel Jeremiah Lopez, 8, of West Liberty, Iowa: “Mr. Kidney and Miss Bladder”
  • Emily Erickson, 14, of Northbrook, Illinois: “Snowflake the Wolf”
  • Bailey Favalora, 15, of Norco, Louisiana: “Relaxing”
  • Emma Russell, 15, of Columbia, Missouri: “Kidney Zentangle”
  • Alex Kemp, 6, of Magee, Mississippi: “Chugging for a Cure”
  • Ileeyah Berry, 12, of Fayetteville, North Carolina: “Super Kidney Saves the Kidneys”
  • Angely Boske, 13, of Akron, Ohio: “The Power of Love: My Journey Through a Kidney Transplant”
  • Denise Coronado, 10, of Dallas: “Thoughts of a Patient”
  • Felixa Deleon Benavides, 14, of Houston: "Healthy Kidney, Infected Kidney"
  • India Johnson, 13, of Norfolk, Virginia: “A Day Before Nighttime”

“Congratulations to Caroline and all the young artists who participated in our Calendar Kids Art Contest. We’re grateful to everyone who cast a vote, and by so doing, showed their support for these brave children who fight kidney disease every day,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. “In the face of serious health challenges, these young artists created beautiful artwork that will inspire people all year long in our calendar.”

Since 1995, AKF has conducted its Calendar Kids Art Contest for young artists who are living with kidney disease. The 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.
The American Kidney Fund calendar is distributed nationwide to help raise awareness of kidney disease and the importance of prevention and early detection. More than 6,600 children in the United States are living with kidney failure, which can only be treated by dialysis or transplantation.

The 2017 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/contest.

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 fulfills its mission by providing a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling kidney patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation.

AKF helps 1 out of every 5 U.S. dialysis patients with treatment-related expenses. More than 93,000 patients in all 50 states received AKF grants last year. AKF invests in clinical research to improve outcomes for kidney patients, and fights tirelessly on Capitol Hill for legislation and policies supporting the issues that are important to kidney patients. To address the enormous public health threat of kidney disease, AKF provides public and professional health education materials and courses, the Kidney Action Day® community outreach program, a Kidney Health Educator program, and a toll-free health information HelpLine (866.300.2900Call: 866.300.2900). AKF’s new grassroots fundraising platform, KIDNEYNATION, unites Americans who are raising funds to support the organization’s mission.

AKF spends 97 cents of every donated dollar on programs and services. 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.
For more information, please visit KidneyFund.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.