Teodora Gencheva, medical student, 3rd year, Medical University-Plovdiv
1. Hello, you are ranked second in our competition “Rare Nuances in The Colours of Life”, how did you find out about it and what motivated you to participate?
As soon as I found out about the competition held by the Department of “Social Medicine and Public Health” of the MU – Plovdiv, I knew that I wanted to participate in it. I believe that every medical student, doctor, person working in the health sector has a role to play in the promotion of rare diseases and if everyone contributes in their own way to better public awareness of rare diseases, it would contribute to a better quality of life and better health care and social support for people living with similar diagnoses. This is what prompted me to take part in the contest, as well as my love for photography
2. Are you serious about photography? How did you decide which photo to feature?
Photography has been a hobby of mine for years, purely as an amateur, but I have participated in online photo contests before. It was extremely exciting for me to get involved in an initiative that is connected to two of my great passions – medicine and photography – and I am happy that the contest was organized with such a noble cause. The decision with which photo to participate was not easy, nor was it straightforward. After long photo sessions, many ideas, colors, double exposures, thoughts and discussion, together with Bozhidar Valkov we managed to create the photo, ranked by the jury in second place.
3. What is the symbolism in your picture?
The photo we chose represents not only the uniqueness and colors associated with rare diseases, but also the hands not only as part of the International Rare Disease Day logo, but also as a symbol of the support and love that every person needs and which each of us as a member of society should strive to give not only to our loved ones, but also to the people with rare diseases around us. This is exactly what I see the meaning of holding the International Day of Rare Diseases annually and in particular this year’s photo contest – achieving sufficient publicity regarding rare diseases and reaching the public with a call for support – not only medical and public, but also purely social and human, call for show of hands.
4. What did you learn about rare diseases by participating in the competition?
Participating in the competition made me realize how little I know about the topic of rare diseases, and it also became a reason for me to inform myself, read and familiarize myself not only with the essence of rare diseases, but also with the organizations in Bulgaria that deal with settling the rights of those diagnosed with similar conditions and the situation in our country and around the world, the fate of patients and what we as medical students could contribute to a brighter future for everyone living with a rare disease.