Sacramento, California - Today at the State Capitol, Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo), in partnership with the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) and the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), presented an Assembly resolution recognizing Feb. 28, 2015 as Rare Disease Day for the families and healthcare professionals caring for millions of Californians living with nearly 7,000 rare diseases.

CHI is a nonprofit, public policy research organization, representing leading California academic institutions, biotechnology, medical device, diagnostics and pharmaceutical firms.

“The prevalence of rare diseases today should encourage patients, medical professionals, and Californians to come together to bring about a greater understanding of the over 7,000 rare diseases that currently exist,” said Assemblymember Achadjian. “I am proud to partner with the California Healthcare Institute to recognize Rare Disease Day in 2015 and raise awareness about this critical issue that affects nearly 30 million Americans."

“Our members are closely involved in research and development initiatives to advance treatments, tests and technologies for rare diseases,” said CHI President & CEO Sara Radcliffe. “Rare Disease Day is a time for us to be reminded of the daily difficulties faced by families and caretakers of patients with rare conditions. CHI remains committed to working with policymakers and stakeholders to advance policy initiatives that encourage and strengthen scientific innovation in California.”

Eve Bukowski, CHI’s vice president of state government affairs and a cancer patient advocate, participated in a ceremony at the State Capitol today, providing testimony about her journey as a stage IV colon cancer survivor. The ceremony, designed to raise awareness of rare diseases, was also attended by a broad spectrum of stakeholders including patient advocates, caregivers, legislators, advocacy groups, legislative staff and more.