February 5, 2015 Contact: David Orenstein 401-863-1862
Persons with rare diseases are individuals, not cases. “Beyond the Diagnosis,” an art exhibit on display this month at the Alpert Medical School, showcases their humanity even as it also introduces students to their complex medical needs. The exhibit is open to the public during business hours.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Whenever in their careers Alpert Medical School students encounter a patient with a rare disease, it may rekindle the empathy and insight they can glean from the portraits of more than 20 people — mostly children — that hang on the medical school building’s walls this month.
By Dana Griffin
PROVIDENCE, RI- Bright, smiling little faces- just 17 of the 30-million Americans living with a rare disease.
Rare Disease United Foundation executive director, Patricia Weltin said, “They hear rare disease and they think, uncommon. But, that’s not the case. I mean there are more people with rare diseases than AIDS and cancer combined.”
Some of those patients and their families were at Brown Medical School Friday night as the Beyond the Diagnosis art exhibit was unveiled.
What the paintings don’t show is the pain of living with a rare disease. There is no medicine or countless trips to the hospital.
“Heartwarming” and “intriguing” — those are the two words Kris Cambra, director of biomedical communications at the Alpert Medical School, used to describe “Beyond the Diagnosis,” an exhibit commemorating Rare Disease Month.
The exhibit features portraits of 17 patients who suffer from rare diseases in order to spread awareness and appeal to politicians for funding for further research.
The Med School is the traveling exhibit’s first stop on a tour of medical schools in the United States, Cambra said. Its impact will continue to grow and build a new generation of doctors with a renewed compassion for patients.