Rare Disease Day
Rare Disease Day is an observance held on the last day of February to raise awareness for rare diseases and improve access to treatment and medical representation for individuals with rare diseases and their families. The European Organisation for Rare Diseases established the day in 2008 to raise awareness for unknown or overlooked illnesses. According to that organization, treatment for many rare diseases is insufficient, as are the social networks to support individuals with rare diseases and their families; furthermore, while there were already numerous days dedicated to sufferers of individual diseases (such as AIDS, cancer, etc.), there had previously not been a day for representing sufferers of rare diseases. In 2009 Rare Disease Day went global as the National Organization for Rare Disorders mobilized 200 rare disease patient advocacy organizations in the United States while organizations in China, Australia, Taiwan, and Latin America also lead efforts in their respective countries to coordinate activities and promote the day.