This Saturday we hosted a special event at The Messy Artist: a fundraiser for one of our students, Savannah, and Nephcure. Three year old Savannah was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome, a chronic kidney disease, earlier this year. As a way to help, we opened our studio to families to come in and have fun, create art and raise money for this foundation that supports kidney disease research.
Millburn Township resident to host fundraiser for NephCure in her art studio
Thursday, June 27, 2013 Last updated: Thursday June 27, 2013, 2:40 PM
BY LINDSEY KELLEHER
The Item of Millburn and Short Hills
Memorial Day weekend in 2012 was a memorable one for Whippany resident Kimberly Paine and her family but not in a positive way.
Paine remembers almost everything about that weekend. It was Friday, May 25, and she and her family were preparing to spend a weekend at the Jersey shore.
That morning, Paine recalled, her then 2-year-old daughter Savannah had developed swelling in her face. The swelling then worsened and traveled down her daughter’s body to her legs. Paine said she knew something was wrong.
She took her daughter to the hospital where she was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome (NS), a chronic kidney disorder that affects one in every 200,000 children and can affect adults, too. When an individual has nephrotic syndrome, his or her kidneys leak an excessive amount of protein from the blood into the urine. Since being diagnosed, Savannah has been in the hospital twice because her body relapsed when her doctors tried to wean her off of the steroids. Now she is doing well, according to her mother.
“She’s been a real trooper,” Paine said about her daughter.
And since Savannah has been diagnosed with NS, Paine has gotten involved with raising awareness about the disorder through the NephCure Foundation.
She and Savannah will be attending a fundraiser this Saturday, June 29, called “Smiles for Savannah” at The Messy Artist in East Hanover, which is being hosted by Donna Bernstein, a township resident and owner of the art studio. “We’re thrilled to be able to do this. Nephrotic Syndrome is not a well-known disorder,” Bernstein said.
Bernstein described Savannah, now 3, who is a student in her Monets class for children ages 2 1/2 to 4, as a sweet and vivacious girl who loves to paint and play with play dough.
After Savannah was diagnosed with NS, her mother wanted her to be active in activities with other children her age, so she kept her enrolled in the art class. Keeping Savannah around other youngsters can sometimes be a challenge, her mother explained, since she is at a higher risk of catching chicken pox and other similar viruses.
When a person’s blood is leaking protein, it compromises his or her immune system, Paine explained. In Savannah’s case, Paine noted, because her medication is working well it prevents her from catching such illnesses.
They are both looking forward to Saturday’s event.
“Some people have it but they don’t really talk about it. I hope to raise money, raise awareness and get support groups going,” Paine said.
The fundraising event will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., in the art studio at 356 Route 10 West, East Hanover. The event, designed for children ages 18 months to 6-years-old, will have five stations for the children to play on including sensory dough, a bean box, a collage project, easel painting and a mystery messy table.
No pre-registration is necessary and all profits will go to the NephCure Foundation. The event costs $25 for one child, $40 for two children and $50 for three children.
Bernstein said their goal is to raise about $1,200 for nephrotic syndrome.
“It’s quite a terrible disease,” she noted.
For more information about the event, visit www.themessyartist.com. To learn about nephrotic syndrome and NephCure, visit www.nephcure.org.