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Katerina Baboulas




BIO - Katerina Baboulas 

Medicine and Art have been my greatest passions in life. A few years ago, at the age of 23 while finishing my degree in Biochemistry and ready to pursue a medical career (to become a physician), I was struck down by illness.  

I went from totally normal to totally bedridden within a 6 month span. My previous life had included an active social life; vice-president of external affairs on the HSA (Hellenic Student Association of York University), playing competitive soccer, volunteering at church, organizing social events and participating in various charity efforts (Federated Health Campaigns for the government of Ontario, Ministry of Government Services), etc. I was suddenly stripped of this life and forced into one of searching for answers for my illness. It took me 2 years to receive the diagnosis of “Lyme Disease” in the US, after visiting just about every hospital in the GTA. I quickly realized the politics associated with the disease; Canada does not affirm that ticks exist in our nation, therefore Lyme Disease (an illness transmitted by tick bites) cannot exist. This lead me to search elsewhere for treatment and answers. I ended up discovering that this illness is prevalent in the US where there are specialists called LLMD’s (lyme literate medical doctors) who treat individuals such as myself with success.  The biggest obstacle to my recovery has been the financial aspects involved. I have been so blessed and humbled to have the support of my family, who have mortgaged our home to pay for treatment. To me, placing such a burden on my family feels unfair, and art, which was once a hobby of my mine without any formal training, quickly became a solution.

Art has been a huge outlet for me. Bedridden and unable to feed myself during the worst points of my illness, I picked up a pencil, brush, pen and create from bed, one stroke at a time. My painting titled “Zeus vs Devil” took me 2 years to paint. “Freedom or Death” I created after visits to the ER, having almost lost my life, with my arms still in bandages. Most of the time, art for me has been my pain being transformed on canvas into something beautiful and relatable.  The stronger I get, the more the need for creating artwork inside of me grows. Just as pain is transformed into power and purpose in my work, I know I will transform my tragedy into triumph, especially with love and support. In difficulty we must find opportunity and continue to dare to dream. I am grateful for this experience as I know it will only make me a better physician in the future.

I pour my soul into each piece of my artwork. It is my hope that a sense of love, unity and purpose be shared through my art, as well as awareness for Lyme Disease in the world.