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Ben’s Friends is an American 501(c)(3) non profit organization that operates free, online patient support communities for people with rare diseases. The organization, headquartered in Austin, Texas, was granted 501(c)(3) nonprofit status on February 9, 2014. Ben’s Friends runs 30+ online communities, each focused on a specific rare disease or chronic illness. The mission of Ben's Friends is to ensure that patients living with rare diseases or chronic illnesses, as well as their caregivers, family, and friends, have a safe and supportive place to connect with others like them. Ben's Friends communities are managed by approximately 100 volunteer moderators, most of whom are patients themselves. The organization was founded in 2007 by Ben Munoz and Scott Orn during Munoz’s recovery from a rare brain aneurysm caused by an Arteriovenous malformation (AVM). In early 2008, Munoz and Orn started two more communities, Living With Ataxia and Living With Trigeminal Neuralgia. Ben's Friends has served over 50,000 members, with more than 100,000 online visitors to the communities each month.
A few of the larger Ben’s Friends Communities:
- Trigeminal Neuralgia
- Ataxia International
- Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)
- Brain Aneurysm
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- "Ben's Friends | Patient Support Communities for People with Rare Diseases". Bensfriends.org. 2013-03-01. Retrieved 2013-12-17.
- (PDF) https://web.archive.org/web/20140304212935/http://www.bridgespan.org/getmedia/2e3147b3-939e-45b7-b7b2-dd7c959e1d9f/From-Start-up-to-Scale.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2013. Missing or empty
- "Med student starts website for patients with rare diseases - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-12-17.
- BCM Office of Communications. "Coping through connection: Rare disease support communities | Momentum - The Baylor College of Medicine Blog". Momentumblog.bcm.edu. Retrieved 2013-12-17.
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- https://web.archive.org/web/20131203184257/http://www.livingwithtn.org/. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2013. Missing or empty
- [dead link]
- "Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) Online Support Group". Adrenoleukodystrophysupport.org. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- [dead link]
- https://web.archive.org/web/20131113000750/http://www.bafsupport.org/. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2013. Missing or empty
- Forbes: Community is the Best Medicine
- Houston Chronicle: Med student starts website for patients with rare diseases
- TechCrunch: Big Impact on a Small Budget
- Harvard Business Review: Deliver Big Impact On a Small Budget
- Kellogg Magazine: High Speed Social Impact
- Lily Clinical Open Innovation: The Power of Community for Rare Disease Patients
- Lily Clinical Open Innovation: Joining with Patients at the Center of Clinical Research