Hope for Gus Launches Freeze That Disease Mannequin Challenge

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A new viral video campaign aims to raise awareness and research funds for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

A non-profit is asking people young and old to have a little fun to battle a serious disease. Hope for Gus officially launched “Freeze That Disease” on December 23 in front of the State House in Concord. The viral campaign ties the Mannequin Challenge concept to Duchenne, which causes progressive deterioration of all the muscles in the body.

Freeze That Disease is a new Mannequin Challenge that will raise awareness of for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Hope for Gus, a not-for-profit that funds research to fight Duchenne muscular dystrophy, wants people everywhere to grab their friends, strike their best pose, and make their own mannequin challenge video to raise funds for research and awareness of the disease. Mannequin challenges are the latest viral video craze, featuring participants standing frozen in place, and then filming the scene. It can feature anything from a few people to a large group. Sports teams and schools have taken on this popular challenge across the country, as well as a number of celebrities, from Ellen DeGeneres to Hilary Clinton, to the cast of “Dancing with the Stars.”

When a supporter brought the idea to Tonya Dreher, the director of Hope for Gus, she saw it as a way to get people involved in the fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy. “I thought it would be a great way to not only raise awareness about Duchenne, but to also raise funds for medical research,” said Dreher. “Hope for Gus focuses on promising areas of research, like gene therapy, and often seeks matching grants to make our efforts go even farther. It’s our hope we can find effective therapies to keep our boys healthier until a cure comes.”

People who want to participate in “Freeze That Disease” (https://freezethatdisease.org) will post their videos to the Hope for Gus Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/hopeforgusfoundation), as well as on their own social media accounts to increase awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The hope is that participants and organizations will not only take on the challenge themselves, but will then extend the challenge to friends and other organizations, turning a viral video fad into a vehicle for a good cause.

The foundation is asking for a suggested $10 donation to Hope for Gus per video participant, which will be directed toward medical research for treatments and a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We want people to donate at Freeze That Disease

About Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most severe of all the muscular dystrophies, and causes progressive deterioration of all the muscles in the body. DMD is a recessive genetic mutation that occurs on the X chromosome. As a result, it almost exclusively affects boys. Children are often diagnosed earlier, usually between 3 and 5 years of age, and lose muscle function quickly. Many boys are in wheelchairs by 10 to 12. Their projected life span is early to mid 20’s, and by that to time, they are confined to power wheelchairs full-time. There is no cure, but promising research is underway.

About Hope for Gus

Hope for Gus was founded by Steve and Tonya Dreher in hopes of raising awareness of the disease as well as finding treatments and ultimately a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy to help their son, and all children, afflicted with this disease. Hope for Gus has made a commitment to funding research that will result in effective treatments in the near-term, with a specific focus on treatments that will preserve muscles in DMD boys while researchers continue to search for the cure. Learn more at http://www.hopeforgus.org/ or https://freezethatdisease.org.

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Tonya Dreher
Hope for Gus
+1 603-224-5566
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