Ralitsa Dimitrova, student of dental medicine, Medical University “Prof. Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov” – city of Varna
1. Hello, you are ranked third in the photo contest “Rare Nuances in The Colours of Life”, how did you learn about it and what motivated you to participate?
I am a fan of the pages of ASM – Plovdiv on both Facebook and Instagram, because I like the publications and information campaigns behind which are many hardworking and awake people. I found out about the contest from a Facebook event and knew immediately that I would participate. I am motivated by the fact that the competition is on an extremely important and serious topic from a medical point of view, and it becomes a field for creativity and imagination to create photographs that have an impact.
2. Are you serious about photography? How did you decide which photo to feature?
I have been doing photography for about 7 years. It has always been my hobby, a passion through which to express myself. Photography is something that I always carry in my heart, and the camera and lenses – always with me. I believe that the strongest shots are not posed, nor thought out in advance, I believe in chance and unpredictability in creativity. Each of my photographs carries an emotional value. For me, photography is an art through which you can speak loudly as long as the viewers can hear. I have tried to create in different directions of photography – art photography will always remain my favorite way to interpret different subjects. My choice of photo and concept was extremely easy – I knew I was going to create something to hide a message in, something that would be open to people and their imagination.
3. What is the symbolism in your picture?
for photo 1 /”Family is everything”/ – I know that there are extremely many families in which there is a person with a rare disease. Opportunities to exchange experiences with other individuals are often lacking. This can lead to isolation and loneliness for patients and families, and can lead to a lack of emotional support, even if medically provided. Through my photo, I want to tell families with a child with a rare disease that they are not alone and to hug each one of them. Few people think about the psychological impact of any disease on the patient and his family. for photo 2 / “Sunny perspectives”/ – I have always found a magic in sunsets that brings me something that nothing else in this world brings. Every day in different bright colors, every day different, but always beautiful. My message is one – to not stop loving and respecting people with rare diseases as we love sunsets – different, colorful, but always perfect as they are. Let’s assume that many people in this world are struggling to be part of society – different as the colors of the sunset, but having equal rights to help and support.
4. What did you learn about rare diseases by participating in the competition?
For me, this is an extremely important topic. I am glad that the competition is aimed at us medical students, because there are probably no people who understand the importance of awareness about rare diseases more than the medical professionals in the field and the students who read about it. Few people know that on average it takes nearly 5 years to diagnose a rare disease. Diagnosis is a real challenge. A specialist may never have encountered such a clinical case and may not be familiar with the rare disease from which the patient is affected. Many rare diseases include common signs, common symptoms that lead to difficulties and incorrect diagnoses. Symptoms can have an irreversible impact. Although they are the subject of a number of scientific studies, there is no cure for many of the rare diseases. These include hemophilia, muscular dystrophy, Bloom’s syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome, narcolepsy and many others. The EU considers a disease rare when it affects less than 1 in 2,000 citizens. To date, they affect 350 million worldwide, 75% of whom are children. Over 7,000 diseases have been identified. 2/3 of them are genetic, and the others are the result of infections (bacterial or viral) or autoimmune diseases. A huge percentage of genetic diseases begin in childhood, but it is not excluded that they manifest themselves in adulthood.
I wish success to the future doctors from ASM-Plovdiv, thank you for the wonderful initiative. We are the future and together we can do more. Let’s fight for the awareness of the population about many medical issues!