The FDA estimates there are 7,000 orphan diseases (condition affecting less than 200,000 people). There are few small efforts to diagnose these conditions and the estimated number of people affected is unreliable. Orphans in the Desert is a place designed primarily for people with a rare disease. It offers a safe place for them to describe their symptoms in their own way, unbiased and without preconceptions. Orphans in the Desert is an attempt to cluster sufferers of distinct rare diseases into groups large enough and with a sufficiently well-defined set of symptoms and markers to allow for pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs and for health care providers to develop protocols for treatment. At the same time it aims to help those struggling to recognize the scope of their symptoms and provides a guide to the possibilities for diagnosis of their disease and relief of their symptoms.

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