Photo submissions for the Photo Award 2021 are now open, until 31st January 2021 (see form below).

The EURORDIS Photo Award is an opportunity to visually express what it means to live with a rare disease and to share your story with the rare disease community and beyond.

The contest is open to all nationalities, ages and diseases. Last year hundreds of people from more than 30 different countries around the world submitted a photo, each reflecting the drive of people living with a rare disease worldwide.

In these challenging times, do you have a photograph that captures life with a rare disease during the COVID-19 pandemic? Perhaps you have the perfect picture already, or perhaps you haven’t taken it yet. Either way, don’t forget to fill in the form below to submit it!

Once your photo has been approved, it will appear in the Gallery. From all who enter, five finalists will be chosen by the award-winning photographer Marcus Bleasdale.

On-line voting - starting on 11th February - will determine the winner on the night of the EURORDIS Black Pearl Awards, on 24th February 2021. The three finalists with the most votes will each receive a Prize.

Visit our Flickr album to see last year’s entries and get some creative inspiration.


Marcus Bleasdale

Marcus Bleasdale is a talented documentary photographer and photojournalist who has been dedicated to advocacy and human rights for over fifteen years. His work on human rights and conflict during his role as a photographer for National Geographic Magazine has helped to educate and advise corporations and policy makers around the world. Marcus has also partnered with various international advocacy groups, including the Human Rights Watch.

In 2002, his first book "One Hundred Years of Darkness" was published, soon followed by "The Rape of a Nation" (2009) and “The Unravelling” (2015). Appearing in the New Yorker, The New York Times, The Sunday Times Magazine and TIME Magazine to name a few, he has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the UNICEF Photographer of the Year Award (2004), the Anthropographia Award for Photography and Human Rights (2010) and the Amnesty International Award (2015).



1) Zein and his Mom

Rare Disease: Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome
Country: Egypt
Photographer: Cheryl Holbert Millard for The Progeria Research Foundation

Beautiful bond between mother and her 2-year-old son Zein, from Egypt. Zein has the ultra-rare, genetic, rapid aging disease, Progeria (Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome). Pictured here, Zein and his mom enjoy a loving moment at the playground after Zein receives his treatment as part of The Progeria Research Foundation’s clinical trial at Boston Children’s Hospital, in the USA. Without this treatment, children with Progeria die of heart disease at an average age of 14.5 years. Zein is one of 166 known children worldwide with Progeria, with approximately another 200 children still undiagnosed.


2) Infusion Day

Rare Disease: Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID)
Country: USA
Photographer: Meghan Garriott

Emmett receiving his immunoglobulin Infusion as he does every other week. Some weeks are good , this happened to be a week he was apprehensive and upset about having to receive the infusion.


3) Pure Joy
Rare Disease: Homocystinuria, osteoporosis, scoliosis
Country: USA
Photographer: Kelly Wilkins
This was a spontaneous moment that the photographer caught on camera while taking my daughter Gabbi's senior photos. I love and cherish this moment because we knew then that not too far in the future Gabbi would be undergoing her second major spinal fusion surgery as a result of living in pain for the 3 years following her first surgery. All of this is a result of her being born with a very rare metabolic disease, Homocystinuria. With that diagnosis came a tough restricted diet and osteoporosis and scoliosis. It has been very difficult especially the spinal surgeries and chronic pain, but Gabbi always has a smile on her face when in school or with friends. She refuses to let her diagnosis define her. She is my hero and I aspire to be like her every day! She is my joy.

See other entries from the 2020 EURORDIS Photo Award