According to a story from technology.org, The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATs) has been hard at work coming up with new methods for engaging with the public and spreading awareness about rare disease using art and social media. In furtherance of this mission, NCATs has kicked off their Rare Diseases Are Not Rare! Challenge.
The Rare Diseases Are Not Rare! Challenge
This challenge is designed to promote three different goals of NCATs. First off, the challenge aims to highlight the need for drug development and rare disease research. The challenge will also serve to bring broader attention to the rare disease community. In addition, this challenge is not intended to highlight a specific disease that is regarded as rare. Instead, its emphasis focuses on rare diseases as a whole.
The True Impact of Rare Diseases
This last point is an important one, because this helps bring relevance to the title “Rare Diseases Are Not Rare!” This may sound like a contradiction of sorts at first, but statistically, this statement is more or less correct. If you live in the US, then about one in every ten people are affected by some sort of rare disease or condition. That translates to about ten percent of the entire population of the country, or 30 million people. Cancer gets a lot of attention in the media and in broader society, but there are only about half that number of cancer patients in the US. Rare diseases also tend to disproportionately affect children, and about 50 percent of rare patients are kids.
If you want to spread awareness about the impact of rare diseases, now is the chance to utilize your creative abilities. You can work on your own or as part of a team. Some ideas you could try for this contest include puppet shows, collages, pictures, comics, animations, paintings, music videos, or songs. The only limit is your imagination.
A panel of judges, including rare disease experts, will review all completed submissions and select a winner for this contest.
However, if you haven’t gotten started yet, time is running out. Submissions are due at noon eastern time on 10/28/18. Check out the official challenge website here.