Rare Diseases Are Not So Rare

Some have famous fundraising events attached to them, like the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS or the many walks, runs, and telethons for diseases ranging from Cystic Fibrosis to Muscular Dystrophy. Other conditions, like Wilson’s Disease – a rare condition in which excess copper builds up in the body — are virtually unknown except to the friends and family of those living with the disease. Collectively, there are 7,000 distinct rare diseases, which, according to the advocacy group Global Genes, affect up to 400 million people globally. About half of those diagnosed with a rare disease are children.

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