It’s no secret that we’re dropping pants for a cause, but how much do you know about neurofibromatosis (NF)? A lot of our participants know that they’re fundraising to find a cure, but what do we actually know about the disease?
QUITE A BIT, ACTUALLY.
Here are some really great facts and statistics about NF pulled together by our friends at the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
- NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body.
- There are three distinct forms: NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis.
- NF1 is the most common, affecting 1 in 3,000 people.
- NF2 is more rare, occurring in 1 in 25,000 people.
- Schwannomatosis is the most rare, affecting 1 in 40,000 people.
- NF affects more than 2 million people worldwide, making it more prevalent than cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease combined.
- NF affects all populations regardless of ethnicity or gender.
- NF may lead to blindness, deafness, bone abnormalities, disfigurement, learning disabilities, disabling pain, and cancer.
- Half of the people who develop NF1 or NF2 inherit it from a parent. The other half develops it as the result of a spontaneous change in a specific gene in an egg or sperm cell. Every person affected by NF1 or NF2 has a 50 percent chance of passing the condition on to their offspring.
- NF is not the “Elephant Man’s Disease,” although it was at one time believed to be. Scientists now believe that John Merrick, the so-called “Elephant Man,” had Proteus Syndrome, an entirely different disorder.
- NF research is shedding new light on several forms of cancer, brain tumors, bone abnormalities, and learning disabilities, ultimately benefiting the broader community, in addition to those living with NF.