Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick

Whereas Rare diseases are those that affect fewer than 200,000 Americans, and there are nearly 7,000 such diseases affecting nearly 30 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health; and

Whereas About half of the people affected by rare diseases in the United States are children since many rare diseases are genetic; and

Whereas Many rare diseases are serious or even life-threatening; and

Whereas Research on rare diseases is important because it often adds significantly to the general understanding of more common diseases; and

Whereas People suffering from rare diseases typically experience difficulty in obtaining a timely, accurate diagnosis, in finding physicians or treatment centers and experience limited treatment options and those options are generally more expensive than those for common diseases; and

Whereas Through public awareness, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts seeks to inform our residents about these serious diseases and the challenges faced by those affected,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim February 29th, 2012, to be

Rare Disease Day 

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this eleventh day of January, in the year two thousand and twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

By His Excellency                  
Deval L. Patrick
Governor of the Commonwealth

William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth


God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts