A couple of days ago, the HD Pie in the Face Challenge splattered onto the scene and was met with an enthusiastic response! Several videos have already been posted and scores of people have been challenged and are probably now going out to buy Cool Whip. Hundreds of supporters have visited this blog in the last two days, and we already have 100 likes on the Facebook (HD Pie in the Face Challenge – Huntington’s Disease) page that was started late last night.
ALS Organization has raised 10 million dollars so far this summer with the Ice Bucket Challenge. What’s more, it has raised even more public awareness of the disease. People who never heard of ALS are now becoming involved in finding a cure.
Public awareness has always been elusive for the HD community. HD has historically been misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, and guarded as an ugly family secret. Only in the last decade or so have thousands of people started “coming out” as having HD, shaking off the residue of undeserved shame that has kept the disease away from public awareness.
Thus, the HD Pie in the Face Challenge was born. The challenge says that you can get a pie in the face or donate $100 to a charity that researches or advances the cause of HD, such as HDSA.org or WeHaveAFace.org (a grassroots organization for “The Huntington’s Disease Project” – an international documentary project). The challenge would involve smearing a paper plate with Cool Whip and having someone smash it into your face while it is being filmed. Then you would challenge a few of your friends to the Pie in the Face Challenge, and post the whole event on Facebook and other social media.
I have contacted the marketing department at Kraft, the maker of Cool Whip, with this idea through their “Contact Us” page, but if you like the idea, why don’t you contact them as well? Kraft could promote the challenge and we need all the help we can get in raising awareness. It seems like it would be win/win for Kraft. Here is the contact page for Kraft:
http://kraftfoods.custhelp.com/app/contact/sa/1/ Select the corporate department.
I have also contacted HDSA and WeHaveAFace.org with news of the Challenge. If someone opts to forgo the pie in the face, then they can donate $100 to hdsa.org, WeHaveAFace.org in the US, or a research organization in another country.
A few people have suggested alternative ways to raise awareness, and I applaud them. I never expected all of us HD folks to agree to the degree that we have! It is truly amazing! If you have another idea in mind, go for it with gusto. It is a big world and there are many ways to raise awareness.
Having said that, the success of the ALS challenge resulted from the use of the same awareness mechanism. If we keep throwing pies, our chances are greater to go viral, and I believe that is our desired outcome.
I urge you to start your own HD Pie in the Face Challenge and challenge some of your friends who aren’t familiar with HD.
Here is my video. Other videos can be seen on the Facebook page mentioned above and on the WeHaveAFace.org free mobile App which you can get at www.WeHaveAFace.org/application
I challenge you to do the same! It is only by doing that things can change.