ROCKVILLE, Md.—The American Kidney Fund (AKF) announced Jonathan Rivera Gómez from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico as the young artist who won the organization’s Calendar Kids art contest for pediatric kidney patients. More than 6,700 people nationwide cast online votes to choose a cover artist for AKF’s 2014 calendar. The contest was promoted on the AKF website and to AKF’s social media community of more than 53,000 followers.
“Congratulations to Jonathan and all of the young artists who participated in our 18th annual Calendar Kids art contest,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund. “The young artists are an inspiration to us all and we are thrilled that the public has chosen Jonathan’s beautiful artwork to grace the cover of our calendar.”
Jonathan’s drawing is titled “"La mano de Dios entregándome los riñones (The Hand of God Giving Me Kidneys)." The piece features a colorful seaside motif with the hands of God holding a smiling person with kidneys. Completing the scene are a cabin an angel, crab and a leaping dolphin.
It is estimated that as many as 31 million people in the United States are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of CKD. Left undiagnosed and untreated, CKD can lead to heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure and death.
As the cover winner, Jonathan will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to be recognized at the American Kidney Fund’s annual national gala, The Hope Affair, on October 29, 2013. All 13 children who were named winners in the contest will have their artwork published in AKF’s nationally distributed 2014 wall calendar, and will receive a gift card and a laptop to help with their schoolwork.
The 2014 calendars will be available for purchase through the American Kidney Fund website beginning in October. For more information about the Calendar Kids art contest, visit www.kidneyfund.org. The Calendar Kids Program is supported by an educational donation provided by Amgen.