Today, February 28th, is Rare Disease Day, a worldwide event showing solidarity with rare disease patients and their families around the globe. The theme for this year is “Raise and Join Your Hands,” and everyone is being asked to participate, whether you’re an individual, an office with 10 people or a public gathering with 1,000 people.
Here at PatientsLikeMe, we are taking part by raising our hands and sharing our group photo in solidarity with the campaign as well as all of our members living with rare diseases, which affect 1 in 10 people worldwide. You are encouraged to submit your own photo here.
Rare diseases are a special passion for PatientsLikeMe, as our company was started due to our founders’ experience with a rare disease called ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Since then, we’ve partnered with the Global Genes Project to form the RARE Open Registry Project to connect patients fighting rare diseases and help them share and learn.
“It’s terrifying to think you’re alone and manage your rare illness with a doctor who might not have ever seen another patient like you,” says PatientsLikeMe Co-Founder Jamie Heywood. “We will change that.” Most recently, we launched the world’s first open registry for patients with alkaptonuria (AKU), the first genetic disease discovered.