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Exciting Rare Impact Awards Announcements

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This year’s Rare Impact Awards are going to be spectacular! From star power to the heroes of the rare disease community, it is going to be a night to remember. Every registration to the Living Rare, Living Stronger NORD Patient and Family Forum, June 21-23 in Houston, TX, comes with a complimentary ticket to this terrific event. Register now for an incredible weekend of bonding, learning and networking, plus the biggest night of the year for the rare disease community, the Rare Impact Awards!

Mary lou retton head shot Mary Lou Retton to serve as event emcee

We are thrilled to announce that one of the most admired Olympic athletes of all time, Mary Lou Retton, will be our emcee!

The epitome of positive energy, Retton is a world-class champion with a winning smile and style that are both infectious and uplifting. After taking home the Olympic All-Around gold medal in gymnastics, she became the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics. Additionally, her five medals were the most won by any athlete at the 1984 Olympics. Still one of America’s most beloved athletes, Retton was named Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year, was the first woman to appear on the Wheaties box and named one of America’s Top Ten “Most Admired” public figures. She now lives with her family in Houston, TX.

Check out our stellar special guest and extraordinary musical talent

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Retired astronaut Kenneth Cameron to open the program

Kenneth Cameron, (Colonel, USMC, RET.) NASA Astronaut (Former) was selected by NASA in May 1984. A veteran of three space flights, Cameron has logged over 561 hours in space. He served as Pilot on STS-37 (April 5–11, 1991), and was the spacecraft commander on STS-56 (April 9–17, 1993) and STS-74 (November 12–20, 1995).

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Violinist and advocate Allison Lint to perform

Allison Lint is the founder of Violin for Vasculitis, Inc. (V4V), a nationally-recognized nonprofit initiative. Through V4V, she is on a mission to travel to all 50 states to raise awareness and funding for vasculitis, an uncommon type of auto-immune disease with which she was diagnosed as a teen.


Meet our 2019 Rare Impact Award honorees

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During the Rare Impact Awards ceremony, NORD will honor the individuals, organizations and companies going above and beyond to propel progress and bolster the rare disease community. Nominations were collected from the public and honorees were chosen based on concrete examples of the achievements made for the benefit of people living with rare diseases. Learn more about our 2019 Rare Impact Award honorees.