Rare Daily Staff
Global Genes named medical student Kristin Hunt as the 2018 David R. Cox Scholarship recipient
Launched in 2015, the David R. Cox Scholarship for Rare Compassion directs financial support to emerging medical students who connect to the rare disease community with the goal of developing compassion and understanding for the unique, daily challenges of rare disease patients and families.
The 2018 Cox Scholarship applicants were matched with rare disease patients or families to offer a glimpse into their lives and lack of understanding often received from the medical community.
This year’s winner Hunt is a rare patient herself from McGill University. She was diagnosed with at age 12 with immune thrombocytopenia. Her condition inspired her to pursue a career in medicine.
Collectively, rare disease affects 30 million Americans and 350 million people worldwide. That’s 1 out of 10 people affected by rare disease, yet, medical professionals often do not recognize or encounter one of the 7,000 that exist today. Hunt said medical students are not familiarized with most rare diseases. As a patient, she would like to see rare disease addressed more thoroughly in medical school curricula.
In addition to Hunt, Michael Sikorski, a medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and Adam Neufeld, a medical student at the University of Saskatchewan were also recognized through the scholarship program.
Hunt said the experience of connecting with a rare disease patient opened her eyes to aspects of rare disease that even she as a rare patient never truly appreciated before.
A group of medical students including Colton Margus, whose two brothers have a rare neurodegenerative disease, created the scholarship to develop critical connections between future clinicians and rare disease patients often neglected by the healthcare system. Global Genes is committed to growing this necessary program each year,
engaging universities and encouraging increased medical student involvement.
“The Cox Scholarship program is vital to increasing rare disease understanding in the medical community, diagnosing patients more quickly, and accelerating research and potential cures,” said Tiffany Leite, Chief Operating Officer of Global Genes.
Global Genes will accept David R. Cox Scholarship for Rare Compassion program requests for 2019 between January 2, 2019, and February 15, 2019. To get involved in a local event, to donate, or to learn more please visit https://globalgenes.org.
November 16, 2018
Photo: Kristin Hunt, medical students at McGill University