I'm reposting this entry from several years ago since Fight For Phoebe changed blogging platforms and this article wasn't previously available from this website. I think that it's pertinent now as it was then.
Came across some sobering statistics about orphan diseases. According to the FDA, orphan diseases are defined as "as a condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people nationwide."
That doesn't sound like a lot, especially with a population of around 300 million people. But that 200,000 number is for each disease. So looking at it in the aggregate gives a more accurate picture of the challenge:
There are approximately 7,000 such orphan diseases;
30 million people in the U.S. alone are living with them--10% of the population. It's estimated that 350 million people worldwide suffer from orphan diseases.
Put another way, if all the people with orphan diseases lived in one country, it would be the 3rd most populous country in the world.
50% of sufferers are children.
Saddest of all, 30% of those children will not live to see their fifth birthday.
For more information, please check out Global Genes.