How those with a rare disease can stand up to intolerance
(BPT) - Whether verbal or physical, bullying can cause real suffering for its victim and can ultimately interfere with a person’s social and emotional development. A common target for bullying and intolerance are those people with qualities that may set them apart from their peers, such as health-related issues.
For the 30 million people in the United States living with a rare disease, standing out can often subject them to increased intolerance over time. Thirty-six year old Dennis is living with a rare swelling disease called hereditary angioedema (HAE) and knows firsthand the affect intolerance can have on a person.
The rare disease journey Dennis would take began at age five when he was diagnosed with HAE after experiencing swelling attacks in his hands, feet and face. HAE is a genetic disease that affects about 6,000 people in the United States. The disease causes repeated swelling attacks that can occur anywhere in the body, including arms, legs, hands, feet, stomach, genitals, face or throat. HAE attacks can be unpredictable, painful, debilitating and disfiguring.
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