In the US, a condition is considered "rare" if it affects fewer than 200,000 people. Abram's condition has fewer than 50 people acknowledged in medical literature world-wide and we have been beyond lucky to have found and connected with 10 other families world-wide!
Here are some facts on how Rare Disease impacts people:
• Rare Diseases impact more people than AIDS and Cancer combined
• 50% of the people affected by rare diseases are children
• 30% of children with Rare & Genetic Diseases will not live to see their 5th Birthday
• Rare Diseases are responsible for 35% of deaths in the first year of life.
• 50% of rare diseases do not have a disease specific foundation supporting or researching their rare disease
Abram was diagnosed with UBE2A Deficiency Syndrome when he was 3 years old after years of waiting and trying to find an answer as to what was causing all of his health concerns.
This syndrome is x-linked so only males are affected. It can be inherited or it can occur spontaneously - like in Abram's case. It is characterized by certain (extra cute!) facial features as well as possible heart, brain, genital and kidney malformations. It also included moderate to severe intellectual disability, global delays, impaired or absent speech and seizures.
UBE2A (ubiquitin conjugating enzyme) is a protein that helps to tag other proteins with ubiquitin for degradation. Although researchers know the gene that causes these symptoms, they know very little about how this protein works within the cells or how the deficiency of UBE2a works within the cell.
We know that there are researchers interested in learning more about UBE2A and we hope that by sharing our son's story - that we can meet more families and someday have a foundation of our own.