Hundreds do SuperHero Challenge, Raising over $10,000 for ME/CFS Research in just 2 weeks.
Could this be the next ice bucket challenge?
Launched just 2 weeks ago on 25 April, the Undies Challenge aims to be a fun and engaging campaign that encourages conversation around the common misconceptions about the condition as well as raising much-needed research funds. The nature of the challenge is also sensitive to those who are bed-bound or physically limited, allowing everyone to convey their energy and passion for life, though ME/CFS often means they can’t.
The initial goal of the campaign was to raise $10,000 by 12 May, however, the uptake of the challenge has been faster than anyone expected, with hundreds of people doing challenges and donations coming in from all over the world: from Sweden and the Netherlands, to the UK, Australia, Canada and the USA. The challenge had already raised over $10,000 by Monday 9 May. After such a positive start, the sky’s the limit!
May 12 is International ME/CFS Awareness Day. ME/CFS affects around 17 million people worldwide. It is a neuro-immune condition with wide ranging symptoms including profound and disabling fatigue and pain. A key feature of ME/CFS is that symptoms get worse from exertion and most sufferers are forced to reduce or give up daily activities like school, work, housework.
There is no cure.
Despite affecting so many and being so debilitating, ME/CFS is notoriously poorly funded. In the USA male-pattern baldness receives 6 times the funding than ME/CFS research does, and other countries contribute similarly small amounts.
All funds go directly to the Open Medicine Foundation’s End ME/CFS Project, which needs $5 million every year to continue research for ME/CFS.
Why Undies On The Outside?
Superheroes wear their undies on the outside, and you need to be a superhero to live with the disease! The Undies Challenge also encourages supporters to shine a spotlight on the invisible nature of the illness by revealing what usually stays hidden.
The rules are simple:
- Take a photo or video of wearing your undies on the outside of your clothes.
- Donate $10 to the Open Medicine Foundation’s End ME/CFS project: bit.ly/UOTO1
- Share the photo or video on social media using the hashtag #UndiesChallenge
- Tag 3 others for the challenge. They have 24 hours!
“I have met so many with ME/CFS, Chronic Lyme and other similar illnesses, that can barely get out of bed, make a meal for themselves or sometimes have enough energy to say a few words,” says Linda Tannenbaum, CEO of Open Medicine Foundation. “The Undies Challenge helps us in our mission, and that’s to find answers for them as fast as we can.”
The Undies Challenge has already garnered strong support from the ME/CFS community, including positive responses and encouragement from industry leaders, key community groups and those living with ME/CFS.
For more information, visit: www.undiesontheoutside.org