Notre Dame’s ‘Word of Life’ mural lights up to recognize Rare Disease Day

Notre Dame’s famous “Touchdown Jesus” mural lit up for Rare Disease Day on Tuesday.

Supporters gathered at Notre Dame’s “Word of Life” mural at the Hesburgh Library in blue, green, and pink as part of the “National Organization for Rare Disorders” global campaign to “Light up for Rare.”

The National Institute of Health estimates 1 in 10 people, about 30 million Americans, have been diagnosed with a rare disease.

Notre Dame’s dean of the college of science, Santiago Schnell, told 16 News Now that any support they receive for research is crucial.

“Institutions like Notre Dame and all the institutions that focus on rare diseases, they need a lot of public support,” Schnell said. “So anything you can do to support these organizations, that are pursuing research and work around this… will be very much welcomed.”

The Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, along with the college of science and college of engineering, is leading the university’s efforts to find cures for rare diseases.