February 24, 2014

Contact: Bruce Janele, 800-457-4777

Actress Patricia Richardson to Support Rare Disease Day

TIMONIUM, Maryland, February 24, 2014 - Actress Patricia Richardson, who starred in television’s Home Improvement, Strong Medicine and The West Wing, will serve as the spokesperson for Rare Disease Day, which will take place on February 28, 2014. Rare Disease Day is an international advocacy day dedicated to bringing widespread recognition of rare diseases as a global health challenge, and is sponsored in part by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).

Ms. Richardson, who also serves as the National Spokesperson for CurePSP, will participate in numerous television and radio interviews, a public service announcement, and other media activities. In 2005, Ms. Richardson lost her father to progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare neurodegenerative brain disease with no known cause, treatment or cure.

"Patricia has long been a major advocate for rare disease awareness, education and research," said Richard Gordon Zyne, DMin, President-CEO of CurePSP. "Her passion has helped many people suffering from PSP and other rare diseases - we are excited to help her support Rare Disease Day."

A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans. There are nearly 7,000 such diseases affecting nearly 30 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Everyone knows someone with a rare disease,” said Peter L. Saltonstall, President and CEO of NORD. “Rare Disease Day is a time to show support for the 30 million Americans – and millions more around the world – living with rare diseases.”

On Rare Disease Day, patient organizations around the world unite to promote awareness of the challenges, hopes and needs of those living with rare diseases. In the U.S., the coalition supporting Rare Disease Day includes patient organizations, NIH and other government entities, medical researchers, hospitals and academic institutions, and pharmaceutical companies developing treatments for rare diseases.

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), a 501(c)(3) organization, is a unique federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. NORD is committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.

CurePSP is the foremost non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), and other atypical Parkinsonian disorders; funding research toward treatment, cure and prevention; educating healthcare professionals; and providing support, information and hope for affected persons and their families.