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Black Pearl Awards – Photo Contest

Photo submissions for the Photo Award 2024 are now open, until 31 January 2024 (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. Every year hundreds of people from all around the world submit their photos, each reflecting the drive of people living with a rare disease worldwide.

Fill in the form below to submit YOURS!

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 7 February 2024 – will determine the winners who will be announced on the night of the EURORDIS Black Pearl Awards, on 20 February 2023. 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.


Raising Rare
We count the years in children recovered
Rare Beauty

Raising Rare

Disease: Melioidosis Type 2
Country: USA
Photographer: Lindsay Norman

Caption: Blakely was born at 26 weeks. Two weeks later she was given a terminal diagnosis of Mucolipidosis type 2. She is 2 years old in this picture, but the size of a 6/7 month old. Her disease causes failure to grow amongst other things.

We count the years in children recovered

Disease: Pediatric Leukemia
Country: Italy
Photographer: Samantha Grieco

Caption: The Maria Letizia Verga ODV Committee association of Monza counts, in 43 years of existence, have seen over 2000 children healed. (…) All children and adolescents who fall ill with leukaemia and lymphoma must be able to grow up and must make their dreams come true, such as becoming a pilot.

Rare Beauty

Disease: KBG Syndrome
Country: USA
Photographer: Brianna Dose

Caption: Natalie radiates beauty, strength and resilience in the face of her many complex medical conditions. She is our rare beauty, inside and out.

SHORTLISTING BY Marcus Bleasdale

Marcus Bleasdale is a talented documentary photographer and photojournalist who has been dedicated to advocacy and human rights for over 15 years. His work on human rights and conflict during his role as a photographer at the National Geographic Magazine has helped educate and advise corporations and policymakers around the world. Marcus has also partnered with various international advocacy groups, including 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).


Check out more inspiring photos from the last few years

Learn more about the Black Pearl Awards