World Rare Disease Day is February 29, 2016. Living LFS is teaming up with Global Genes to raise awareness about Li-Fraumeni Syndrome and Rare Diseases.
GlobalGenes.org is a patient advocacy organization for rare diseases. Their mission is to eliminate the challenges of rare disease by building awareness, educate the global community and provide critical connections and resources that equip advocates like Living LFS to become advocates for their disease. Their mission is so similar to ours for the Li-Fraumeni Syndrome community. Living LFS joined the Global Genes RARE Foundation Alliance in 2015 because although we have a small patient population, according to the Global Genes website, "collectively the rare disease community is larger than the AIDS and Cancer communities combined." Even though the actual diseases are unique, many of the issues we face with rare conditions are similar and by sharing experiences and resources we can help each other navigate for a better quality of life.
80% of Rare Diseases are Caused by Faulty Genes.
LFS is one of those Diseases, caused by mutations in the TP53 Tumor Suppressor Gene. People with LFS are at risk for many different cancers over their lifetime and many times multiple cancers. Although LFS mutants have higher risk of cancer, advances in early detection and new screening methods help us live longer, healthier lives.
Approximately 50% of People Affected by Rare Diseases are CHILDREN.
Approximately 50% of LFS cancers happen before the age of 30. Half of the LFS core cancers are RARE childhood cancers such as choroid plexus tumors or adrenocortical carcinomas. Soft tissue Sarcomas and Osteosarcomas are seen often in kids with TP53 mutations. Because of such a strong link between sarcomas and TP53 mutations, Dana Farber Cancer Institute began recommending all children who present with sarcomas be referred for genetic counseling.
In the US, a disease is Considered RARE if it affects fewer than 200,000 people.
Some literature says 400-500 families worldwide are affected with LFS. Others say that many families exist in the US alone. We don't know how many are actually affected with LFS because not all people with LFS get cancer. We do know it is rare and that many physicians do not know a lot about it. This makes getting good care for our community extra difficult.
How Can You HELP?
-Help others be AWARE.
Share information about Li-Fraumeni Syndrome with friends, family, or care providers. This year we are wearing our Living LFS shirts and Jeans and making it a goal to talk to at least one person about Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. Not sure what to say? Just talk from your heart and your experience living LFS. You can refer them here to our website at livingLFS.org or download our informational pdf and print it out to share.
-Share You're RARE.
You can share your story here in a blog post. It helps others to know they are not alone in living LFS. Feel free to post at our public Facebook page and let us know how you are living LFS. Wear your living LFS shirt and take the opportunity to tell people who ask- What's LFS? that you are living with a hereditary cancer syndrome.
-Show You CARE.
Let your friends or family who are rare know how much you care. Send them a message or a text just to say hi. Update your profile picture to one of the great badges supplied by globalgenes.org or create one of your own that tells someone who is facing a rare disease that you support them.
We are Rare. We Care.