The __________ Challenge

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image from awakeearly.com

Ever since the ALS “Ice bucket” challenge went viral in 2014, raising millions for research into Lou Gehrig’s Disease, it seems every charitable organization has tried to follow suit. As someone who worked in the non-profit health and social services sector for a number of years, I can appreciate and recognize the tremendous need for funds for a variety of purposes – including education, research and service delivery. It’s a sad commentary that we have come to rely so heavily upon individual philanthropic efforts to fill a void in social responsibility.

I never really did get the “ice bucket” challenge. But that didn’t matter.  I did know a few people who were diagnosed with ALS and it did give me a sense of what a wicked disease this is. It was great to see this fundraiser take off and be so successful. I hope it translates into positive advancements in combating ALS.

Meanwhile, other charities and foundations are cuing up to find the next ice-bucket challenge. Parkinson’s organizations are no exception. In the last few years, I’ve seen a variety of attempts to launch the equivalent for PD including:

  • milk shake challenge – make a video of yourself making a milk shake and post on-line (milk shake – get it? You shake the milk kinda like you shake with PD tremors. The only part of this campaign that might have appealed to me was drinking a milkshake which you don’t do.
  • Shake-it-off challenge – featuring dancing and singing to Taylor Swift’s popular “shake it off” song. Popular no doubt with young girls aged 12-15 no doubt but a populous choice? I’m not so sure.
  • Pie-in-the-face challenge – post video of yourself taking a cream pie in the face for Parkinson’s. Huh??

I’m sure there are others. While these may have met with some success in certain regions, none has “caught fire”and spread nationally or internationally. I don’t know if there will be one that strikes a chord like the ice bucket challenge did. But kudos to a group from Australia who have taken a different approach to this whole “challenge” phenomena.

Remember the Mannequin Challenge that took off a few months ago?  It started at at a high school in the US  where video participants took and held positions without movement while the camera weaved in and around the mannequin-like participants. Other schools, sports teams, celebrities – even Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama – got in on the act.

Well this Australian group – Parkinson’s NSW – recently took on the mannequin challenge with a difference.They have made a video that illustrates some of the disease’s symptoms and challenges. Since the premise of the mannequin challenge involves standing perfectly still (something people with PD cannot do) the message is clear. “Until there’s a cure, life is our challenge,” reads the title card at the end of the video.

Life is our challenge. That’s an appropriate challenge for Parkinson’s.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The __________ Challenge”

  1. Good video, Rob. As I was reading this, I was thinking of shake music: “Shake, Rattle and Roll” (Big Joe Turner) and “Let’s Shake” (Teenage Head), and “Shake Your Booty” (K.C. and the Sunshine Band). Any other good ones?!

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  2. thx clive! couple of additions come to mind – Guess Who did “Shakin all over” in the late 60’s – thats the version i know but the orginal was done in late 50”s by johnny Kidd and the pirates. Also, the Hippy Hippy Shake by the Swinging Blue Jeans! Short b ut sweet. snd there was Shake it up from the Cars (which sounded like every other Cars song 🙂

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