DANA POINT, Calif., Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Global Genes Project (www.globalgenesproject.org), a non-profit advocacy organization that aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of rare diseases worldwide, today launched the 7,000 Bracelets for Hope™ campaign. The 7,000 Bracelets for Hope™ campaign is designed to draw attention to an estimated 7,000 different chronic, life-threatening and fatal rare diseases and disorders affecting approximately 30 million Americans and millions more globally.
The 7,000 Bracelets for Hope™ awareness campaign is designed around a denim blue jeans theme and the color blue which is associated with health, healing and faith. The vast majority of the 7,000 rare diseases identified by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are caused by gene defects.
"Cause bracelets are widely available for breast cancer and heart disease but there has never been a unifying symbol, color or bracelet that represents the rare disease community worldwide," said Nicole Boice, founder, Global Genes Project. "Since launching the 7,000 Bracelets for Hope™ campaign a few weeks ago, we have already received unique bracelet designs made from cut strips of recycled blue jeans as well as vintage blue glass and crystal beads. The creativity from volunteers is truly inspiring!"
A Global Crisis - Only 352 Rare Disease Drugs Developed Over Past 27 Years
In January 1983, Congress passed the Orphan Drug Act to encourage pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop drugs for rare diseases that have small patient populations. In the United States, rare diseases are defined as affecting fewer than 200,000 individuals per rare disease and prevalence varies greatly, from as few as 300 for a rare enzyme deficiency to just under 200,000 for cancer of the thyroid gland.
Despite market incentives put in place to induce companies to