Do you know how rare diseases are classified as such in the United States? If a disease affects 200,000 people or fewer, it is considered “rare.” Acromegaly, cystinosis, and Gaucher disease are only a few examples of many. With so few people with certain rare diseases, finding support can be so hard.
Thanks to the Internet, it’s getting easier. For instance, there’s a website called GeneMatcher that will—FOR FREE—connect healthcare providers with other physicians and researchers of rare diseases from around the world.
Television, too, is taking a stand. That’s right—TLC is doing their part to spread awareness of rare diseases and connect patients with support. The show is called Two in a Million, and it features people with various rare diseases.
“In each episode [of Two in a million],” TLC tells us, “two people who share the same medical struggles meet and spend one week together, sharing hardships, and incredible triumphs, visiting word-renowned doctors, and finding answers to important questions.”
WOW! How is cool is THAT?!
Apparently, the show was a challenge to make due to conflicting schedules and there was some wariness as to the purpose of the show. But Adam Hawkins, senior vice president with the production company, was able to reassure the stars that the show was meant to simply encourage, motivate, and remind people living with rare diseases that they aren’t alone.“For people that feel lonely and isolated, take heart and reach out,” Hawkins told KTVQ. “There will be someone else like you out there.”