Thursday January 31st, 2019

Monthly Archives

Learning about rare diseases

We are learning about rare diseases: 28 days in February for 28 rare diagnosis: 

In February, the month that patients with rare diseases call it rare month, we will try to educate about 28 different rare diseases. The statistical data about rare diseases in Macedonia is not yet official as the registry is a work in progress. We estimate that there are over 2000 patients that face life with a rare disease in Macedonia with over 100 different diagnoses.

let’s try and learn the challenges and problems around diagnosis, treatment, disease management, access to orhpan drugs …

What RARE means?

Rare means to search for diagnosis from months to over 10 years, it means knowing that there is a treatment but it is not accessible in your country, it means that it is very expensive to have a disease, it means not knowing anyone in your country with the same disease, it means search for someone like you … Rare means when you ask your doctor about your diagnosis, he is searching on the internet to let you know what it is … Rare is when you have to explain what your disease is, to explain that you are not imagining pain, … rare means a day filled with struggle to finish your everyday activities, .. rare means to be one in thousands of people and when you find people with your disease you feel like you found a family … Rare is when you can’t plan your future. …

This is why Super Radio, Gordana Loleska and LIFE WITH CHALLENGES this February will share information about rare diseases in R. Macedonia. This is just hoping to learn more and be informed.

28 days in February for 28 rare diagnoses 

First time, Rare disease day was marked in 2008 on 29th of February. Now every year, the last day of February is Rare disease day.

Rare disease day is international campaign for raising awareness on rare disease. From 2008 until today, thousands of events are happening all around the world. It began as a EU event and now it is global, 90 countries from all over the world marked this day in 2018.

R, Macedonia for the first time, marked this day with an event in 2012.

The campaign for RDD is for the public, for the institutions, the patients, the organizations, the medical professionals, the researchers, the students .. everyone is welcome to join in …the more the better.

RDD is a possibility for the participants to be a part of the global call towards the policy makers, the researchers, the pharmaceutical companies, the medical professionals so that patients will be more involved in the research on rare diseases.

This years the theme of the events is – Connecting Health and Social services.

Also we are continuing with the campaign  #ShowYourRare for the social media. People from all over the world are painting their faces showing how rare they are for Rare Disease Day.

Join us!

 Download links:

 for video:

Note: the link will be active 14 days from 29.01.2019

for radio:

Note: the link will be active 7 days from 29.01.2019

text and photo for web sites:

Note: the link will be active 7 days from 29.01.2019

Poster and logo from the project:

Note: the link will be active 7 days from 29.01.2019



Lectures on rare diseases with Red Cross Gazi Baba

At the end of December, 2018, we organized lectures together with the Red Cross from Gazi Baba, Skopje, in the following schools: VEra Jocikj, Naum Naumovski Borche, DAne KRapchev, Krum Tosev.

The cooperation with the schools was on a high level and we had participants as the professors, psychologist, , director and others. 

They got knowledge and information about how to better help and support families that face life with a rare disease or certain dysfunction.

What we noticed is that in each school there were 1 to 3 people connected to someone with a rare disease. There were a lot of questions and discussion and exchange of contacts so that we can help and support patients and families with rare diseases. We hope to continue this cooperation and have more events on raising awareness on rare diseases.

News in the HELP LINE for families with rare diseases


It is a pleasure to inform everyone that starting January, this year through the Help line for rare diseases of LIFE WITH CHALLENGES we are providing psychological and psycho-therapeutic support for families with rare diseases.

The HELP LINE is a project that we started since 2013 as a non-formal info line for families that face life with rare diseases. It is an open communication through telephone, Viber, Facebook, e-mail, face to face meetings, family gatherings … and much more … the help line is for informative support, for direction and support through the health and social system so that patients can get the services they need without spending a lot of time through the institutions.

From January, 2019 we signed agreement for cooperation with NEOKORTEX – Center for psychotherapy, psycho-diagnostics, training and education so that we can offer the following services: individual psycho-therapeutic sessions, partner therapy, psychological advice for parents, family therapy, psychological testing and other services needed for the families that face life with rare diseases.

Statement, Vesna Aleksovska, President of LIFE WITH CHALLENGES:

“Supporting the patients in the past ten years, we became aware that psychological support is very important not just for the patients but also for their families. Having a rare disease is not just a burden to the one person that has it, but to the whole family. This is why we decided, part of grant form the Foundation Trajche Mukaetov, that we received at the end of the last year, to be for free psychological and psycho-therapeutic services for the families that face life with rare diseases. In 2019, patients and families with rare diseases can directly contact Ivana Hadzivanova from NEOKORTEKS (psychologists, psychotherapists, educator +38975273768), they can schedule a meeting and get the needed support. We hope that the availability of this service and the guaranteed anonymity will contribute towards greater help and support for the families with rare diseases and for the improvement of their quality of life. Although we are starting with this project in Skopje, we have planned educational workshops for other cities so that further we can start cooperation with other professionals and make a network of support for the families with rare “

Statement, Ivana Hadzivanova, Psychologist, psychotherapist, NEOKORTEKS

“It is a great honor and happiness for me to start this cooperation with LIFE WITH CHALLENGES as an organization that I respect a lot. I am ready in this year, to give all my professional energy in order to improve the mental health and the psychological condition of the people and the families with rare diseases. I am happy to be a part of the support in overcoming the life challenges when you face a rare disease.”

2019 is the year in which LIFE WITH CHALLENGES is marking 10 years of its existence. It will be a year with a lot of news and events and new services for improving quality of life of people with rare diseases.  This is just a part of the news in the HELP LINE, soon, before Rare Disease Day, we will announce other news about services that will be provided through the HELP LINE in LIFE WITH CHALLENGES. But also we will have more news on regional cooperation with doctors and organizations from our region.

Vesna Aleksovska

President of the Association of citizens for rare diseases LIFE WITH CHALLENGES


Тel: +389 (0)70 70 54 46


Information about the association:



Contact us

Sending your message...