9 year-old Iowa kidney recipient wins national art contest

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- While on dialysis for her kidney disease, 9 year-old Emme Oberbreckling discovered a new talent. Art.

9 year-old Emme Oberbreckling finished this painting, "Transplant Love," on her final day of kidney dialysis. (Source: Gray DC)

“I just like it," said Emme.

On her final day in the hospital, after a successful kidney transplant last April, she finished “Transplant Love.” Her first published piece of art, named for the love her family shared during this difficult time.

When Emme was diagnosed with kidney disease, her father Andrew donated the tissue that would save her life.

After the procedure, Emme could go swimming, share her love for animals, and travel with her family for the first time in over a year.

“She’s always had a great outlook on it and a great personality," said Andrew. “Everyone really enjoyed her good attitude during the whole process."

Emme entered her painting into the American Kidney Fund’s Calendar Art Contest. Her piece was posted to the organization's website to be voted on by the public. Emme won the contest and her artwork will be featured on the cover of the American Kidney Funds 2020 calendar.

Going forward, Emme says she hopes her painting can inspire other kidney patients to keep fighting.

“Just stay strong, you’ll get through it," she said. "Just like I did.”

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