Cori Neustein is wearing jeans today.
That may not seem like news to you, but to her family, she's showing support for her daughter, Erin, who was diagnosed with the rare disease Eosinophilic Esophagitis at age five.
She and her family donned denim today to participate in Rare Disease Day, sponsored by the Global Genes Project and the "Wear That You Care" campaign that encourages people to wear the Blue Denim Genes Ribbon and their favorite pair of jeans to recognize Rare Disease Day, today, Feb. 28.
"We hang our hopes on the research done in pursuit of a cure for her and others like her," said Neustein, citing the nearly 7,000 rare diseases affecting nearly 30 million Americans.
Neustein explained that eosinophilic eosophagitis is a disorder that causes complications for individuals while eating, triggered by food proteins reacting in in the esophagus, much like an allergy. "The only way to diagnose and treat this is through endoscopies. Erin has had 20 since she was diagnosed," said Neustein. Today, Erin can only eat four foods—turkey, grapes, carrots and cauliflower. "She most likely will never have birthday cake again—or a piece of [her future] wedding cake.
Still, the family—Cori, her husband Scott, Erin and her sister Maribeth—is hopeful for a cure.
"Hope: It's in our genes," Neustein said, repeating a tagline often heard during the campaign.
For more information about the campaign, click here.