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  • Areeg Sweis

Understanding Rare Disease Day

Updated: Aug 21

Did you know that there was an international day celebrating those dealing with rare diseases?



Rare Disease Day, celebrated on the last day of February each year, is a day filled with different activities that aim to raise awareness to the public and policymakers about rare diseases. As stated by the official Rare Disease Day website, they aim to raise awareness amongst "policymakers, public authorities, industry representatives, researchers, health professionals and anyone who has a genuine interest in rare diseases."


The next holiday, which will fall on Monday, February 28, 2022, with be the fifteenth year of celebration for Rare Disease Day.


According to their website, the month of February was chosen by organizers. February is the only month in a calendar year to have a ‘rare’ number of days, given that February 29 only happens every four days.


Who started Rare Disease Day?


The first holiday was celebrated on February 29, 2008, starting as a European campaign launched by EURORDIS and the Council of National Alliances that spread across the world.


Why is there a Rare Disease Day?


For many individuals dealing with a rare disease, there is not a known cure. Therefore, a day full of events raising awareness for rare diseases is needed to push for policies and more research opportunities for treatments.


Also, most rare diseases are unknown to the general public, so this day is an opportunity for the world to understand better what those diseases are and how they can help.


If you’re interested in learning more about Rare Disease Day, check out their website here!



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