SPRINGDALE, Ark (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas Children’s Northwest Hospital will open an exhibit September 20 to raise awareness of rare diseases, as well as highlight a particular patient whose joy outweighs the challenges he faces.

There are approximately one in 10 Americans who suffer from a rare disease.

The hospital treats patients of all kinds every day, but over the next few weeks, the spotlight will shine on those suffering from rare diseases. To honor those battling rare diseases, ACNW is hosting this traveling exhibit featuring artists from all over the nation who have captured the stories of children treated for rare diseases. Forty patients will be represented by artwork painted of them in the exhibition beyond the diagnosis.

The hospital provided KNWA/FOX24 an opportunity to learn more about one of the children included in the exhibit.

Matthew Lance is a 13-year-old boy suffering from a rare disease. A portrait of Matthew was painted by Diana Shearon. As a result of being able to paint Matthew and share his story through the painting, Shearon expressed her excitement and gratitude.

“I was really honored to be apart of this project and bring recognition to the children’s hospital,” said Shearon.

As a lack of interest from drug companies, rare diseases were called orphan diseases. Rare diseases are estimated to be curable in less than 5% of cases. Long diagnosis times, financial hardships, and a lack of medical expertise can be emotionally challenging for patients and their families.

During a special interview, Reagan Sheets, Mathew Lance’s mother, reveals how special this exhibit is to her and her family.

“When they approached me about this, I was honored and excited to have Matthew highlighted, but just the idea of bringing awareness to rare disease, I believe that is bigger than Matthew’s portrait, because we are not the only ones out here” emphasized Sheets.

The art show exhibit will run until September 29. A valid ID is required to access the exhibit, which is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during hospital hours.