Rare Daily Staff

Global Genes named Madison Lodge, a student at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, as the first place recipient of the David R. Cox Scholarship for RARE Compassion.

Participants in the RARE Compassion Project, which matches medical students with rare disease patients and families to foster an understanding for the daily challenges faced by people living with rare diseases, are eligible. They are selected based on submitted essays about their experience. Lodge wrote about her experience with a family of an 11-year-old boy with fibro-adipose vascular anomaly, a rare condition that causes pain and the loss of mobility.

The organization named Agnes Premkumar, also a student at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, as the second place recipient. Terence Lee, University of Massachusetts Medical School was awarded third place.

“Improving the lives of everyone affected by rare disease does not just mean developing treatments and cures, it also means helping them in other areas of their life, such as their interactions with the medical system,” said Kimberly Haugstad, CEO, Global Genes. “The RARE Compassion Project is an opportunity for patients to share their knowledge about living with rare disease with future medical professionals, an opportunity that is not available in most formal scholastic programs.”

Now in its fourth year, the Cox Scholarship was originally created by a group of medical students, including Colton Margus, whose two brothers have a rare neurodegenerative disease. The Scholarship was named after a physician who accelerated the search for a treatment to the rare and debilitating genetic disorder, ataxia telangiectasia (A-T).

Applications for the RARE Compassion Project are accepted year-round, while students are matched with patients or families on a quarterly basis. Eligible medical or healthcare students who match to a family or patient have the opportunity to submit an essay about their experience to be considered for the David R. Cox Scholarship for Rare Compassion beginning in Spring 2020.

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