The first Rare Disease Day was celebrated in 2008 on February 29, a “rare” date that happens only every four years. Ever since, Rare Disease Day has taken place on the last day of February, a month known for having a “rare” number of days. This February 28, 2019 marks the 12th international awareness campaign. Each year people worldwide hold awareness-raising activities for the general public, patients, their families, healthcare professionals, researchers and anyone who has a genuine interest in rare diseases.
Building awareness is important because rare diseases are not so rare after all, affecting 1 in 12 Canadians. Despite this, there is no cure for the majority of these diseases and many go undiagnosed. Rare Disease Day improves knowledge amongst the general public, while encouraging researchers and decision makers to address the needs of those living with rare diseases.
To help raise awareness, join us as we support the interactive social media campaign #ShowYourRare. You can get involved by painting your face (or hands) and sharing a photo using the hashtags #ShowYourRare and #RareDiseaseDay in solidarity with people across the world who are living with a rare disease. Go on, Show Your Rare!