Diseases that are common, like certain cancers and heart disease, have widespread support systems. Because so many people have been or know someone who has been affected by the diseases, it's easy to fundraise for treatments or cures and foster understanding among the public. There are other diseases, however, that only affect a few dozen people on the entire planet.
Because of they are such a rarity, people living with them often have a hard time finding support.
Alltime10s has made a video featuring 10 rare diseases that don't have a cure. Some of these seem too far-fetched to be true, but they really are:
Ready to help out people with rare diseases? Here's what you can do:
1. Recognize that people who have rare diseases are, in fact, people.
This one seems fairly obvious, but it's pretty important. As the video said, individuals with certain rare diseases have historically been mocked by the general public and treated as freaks, instead of as humans with feelings. Given how much the average person who does not have a deformity worries about their looks, it's clear to see why social acceptance is paramount.
2. Donate to causes that support people with rare diseases and their families.
Because these conditions are so extreme and require extensive medical intervention, these individuals face enormous financial burdens. By donating to advocacy groups such as the National Organization for Rare Diseases, patients and their families are able to get information, financial assistance for their medical bills, and access to clinical trials.
3. Vote for politicians who favor scientific research.
Treatments and cures to rare diseases don't emerge out of thin air; they are the product of years of research to understand the genetic and cellular mechanisms that cause the conditions. Voting for politicians who are willing to invest in science is the best way to make longterm progress against these diseases.
Cover image: Alltime10s