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SOURCE National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
WASHINGTON, May 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) focused a spotlight on individuals and families who display great courage as they live with rare diseases at its Portraits of Courage Celebration last night.
During the program, Brooke and Brielle Kennedy of Michigan, ages 5 and 6, who have a rare disease known as spinal muscular atrophy, put a medal around the neck of Representative Fred Upton of Michigan for sponsoring legislation to promote and expand pediatric medical research.
A Portraits of Courage gallery displayed photos and stories of 18 individuals and families representing the spirit of the rare disease community. These included Sam and Alex Bode, two sisters from Connecticut living with Friedreich's ataxia; Joe Ellenberger of Nebraska, living with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH); and Sam Berns, who died earlier this year and who helped promote worldwide awareness of progeria.
"This was a celebration of the spirit of the community," said NORD President and CEO Peter L Saltonstall. "We meet extraordinary people every day in our work at NORD, and we chose this way of honoring the courage that our patients and families display in the face of great challenges."
The celebration took place at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. The program included remarks by Sean Hepburn Ferrer, son of actress Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer, who shared the story of how a rare disease affected his family. Audrey Hepburn died of a rare cancer known as pseudomyxoma peritonei.
In addition to the Portraits of Courage patients and families, honorees included:
PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERSHIP AWARDS:
ABBEY MEYERS LEADERSHIP AWARD:
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
PARTNERS IN PROGRESS AWARDS FOR ORPHAN PRODUCTS APPROVED IN 2013:
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