Why a regional rare disease charity?

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One in 17 people will develop a rare disease at some point in their lives – that’s 3.5 million in the UK alone.

Most of these diseases manifest in early childhood and many are life-limiting conditions.

Currently no regional community groups exist for rare diseases and individually their unmet needs are seen in isolation. We believe that collectively those living with rare conditions and their families can form a powerful regional voice influencing service delivery at every level and ensuring their collective needs are met. The Cambridgeshire pilot has the potential to become a model for many other regions across the UK. 

With recent advances in medicine and genetics, we’re more able  than ever before to diagnose and treat rare diseases. We can even see cures on the horizon. Patients are now living longer so it is important that health, education and social systems plan effectively to keep pace with these advances to ensure the best care.

It’s vital that we now work together to see these advances make the leap from the lab bench to the bedside and enhance quality of life.  CRDN brings together stakeholders from research, industry, business, healthcare and patient charities making a real and positive difference in the lives of people living with rare diseases.


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Promoting cross-sector collaboration

We aim to bring together all stakeholder groups involved in rare diseases in a spirit of collaboration and understanding by providing opportunities to  share, learn, engage and be innovative together to improve the lives of those affected by rare disease.

We will ensure that the voice of people living with rare conditions is at the heart of all our discussions, events and activities as experts and valued partners.

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Raising Awareness

Sharing  Cambridge expertise with the world

We aim to offer exceptional, engaging and thought-provoking  educational events to help address  knowledge gaps and to raise awareness about rare  disease amongst health professionals, academics, industry, policy makers and the wider public . We’ll provide a platform for UK and international thought leaders and showcase the potential of the Cambridge Cluster – the University of Cambridge, Biomedical Campus and vibrant biotech community on our many Science Parks. Events will have powerful patient voices and advocacy groups at their heart.

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Building a local rare disease community 

We aim to support children and families living with rare disease in our local community by providing activities to reduce isolation, offer peer support, build a community and give them a place to belong.

We’ll develop opportunities for adults living with rare conditions to  connect, share experiences and form a collective voice to raise awareness and  improve local services. 

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OUR Activites

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through educational and networking events: RAREfest,  a public-facing interactive exhibition, talks and film festival; the Cambridge Rare Disease Summit, an acclaimed summit with international and UK-based thought leaders alongside powerful patient voices; a Rare Disease Day lecture and networking event; short evening and half day events throughout the year

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offering a neutral, collaborative platform for pharmaceutical, biotech and health-related companies to discuss common issues in rare disease drug development and to drive change

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identifying gaps in service provision and creating solutions. We have developed and incubated the Rare Disease Nurse Network (RDNN) project, now working independently

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attend our weekly activity group, UNIQUE feet

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helps raise funds for CRDN

If we all got involved, imagine the difference we could make? Don’t just follow us, interact with us and join our thriving rare disease community! There’s lots of ways right here to begin your journey with us…

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