February 28 is international Rare Disease Day, a day dedicated to raising public awareness of a myriad of diseases that many people know very little (if anything) about. One of the day’s main goals is to highlight the difficulties patients with rare diseases face in terms of diagnosis, treatment, and everyday living.
There will be events held in hundreds of locations around the world and this year, the general theme of the day is “research.” Without research, there would be no new treatments and therapies for rare diseases and there would be no work being done to find a cure. However, we need to raise money for this to continue since research into rare diseases is rarely funded by governments.
As well as holding events to raise awareness of how rare diseases affect patients, another goal of the event is to get governments around the world talking and making policies which will enhance the lives of those who suffer.
There are more than 6,000 known rare diseases, which is defined in the U.S. as affecting fewer than 200,000 and in Europe as affecting one in 2,000 people.
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