Since its inception in 1971, the Foundation Fighting Blindness has focused its efforts on helping people with rare diseases. In the United States, a rare disease is defined as that which affects fewer than 200,000 people. And, in fact, most vision-robbing retinal diseases—retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease and Usher syndrome included—fall into that category.
But when we add up all of the diseases FFB targets, that number reaches the millions. And when you move beyond retinal diseases, to the more than 6,000 rare diseases affecting people worldwide, the number is in the tens of millions.
That’s why, once again, we’re joining other non-profits around the globe in recognizing Rare Disease Day, which takes place every February 28 as a means of raising awareness about these diseases and the negative impact they have on the affected and their families. Here’s this year’s official video:
FFB would like to go one step further, by asking people to recognize Rare Disease Day by donating specifically to the Foundation. More than four decades after it was founded, FFB is now funding and/or supporting researchers moving closer, each year, to developing treatments and cures for retinal diseases. But that research, especially in the clinical-trial phases, demands considerable funding.
So we’re asking that you help us recognize Rare Disease Day by contributing to the Foundation’s #RareAndWorthy campaign. The money you contribute will go directly toward funding research that will, one day, eradicate the many rare retinal diseases robbing millions of their eyesight.
I ask that you share the message of Rare Disease Day with others while letting them know how they can positively impact a visually impaired person’s life.