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Red Hot researchers spice up Chilli ME Challenge — Live!

Simon submitted a new blog post:

Red Hot researchers spice up Chilli ME Challenge — Live!

Can you take the heat? Join Simon McGrath in support of the Chilli ME Challenge ...

Watch renowned researchers Drs. Ian Lipkin and Mady Hornig take the Chilli ME Challenge, LIVE from New York by webcast this coming Wednesday, 1st July at 1 p.m. EST.

To spice things up, the researchers from Columbia University have promised that the more you give, the hotter the chilli peppers they will eat! And every dollar goes directly to their cutting-edge programme of ME/CFS research.

Some like it hot

Their spice-o-meter currently shows they will be eating spicy jalapeño chillis, and are just shy of taking on red hot Thai chillies. Your gift can make that difference!

The team have made a brilliant trailer for this landmark in researcher engagement:

There's no doubt these two researchers are up for a challenge. When the study they organised ruled out XMRV as the cause of ME/CFS, their response was that something was causing the illness and they wanted to find out what it was. So they embarked on an impressive programme of research, the first fruits of which came this year and made media headlines.

When the NIH turned them down twice for a study of the microbiome in ME/CFS patients, they refused to quit. They reached out to patients with a crowdfunding campaign that raised over $220,000.

Now they are spicing up their efforts with the Chilli ME Challenge, taking the heat for ME/CFS research. As they say, Make This Summer Red Hot for Research.

Dr. Lipkin's Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, where Dr. Hornig is Director for Translational Research, is one of the world’s largest and most advanced centres in microbe discovery, identification and diagnosis. That makes it perfectly equipped to find out how bacteria, fungi, viruses and toxins (and the immune response to them) might contribute to ME/CFS.

Donate now and put the heat on ME/CFS!

Don't stop at giving. You, too, can eat a hot pepper and challenge others to do the same.
The Chilli ME Challenge

The #chilliMEchallenge is a grassroots global campaign organized by four young women with ME, the 4 Chilis in a Pod. They are encouraging people to eat chillies, post the video online and donate to either Columbia in the U.S. or Invest in ME in the UK (donation page).

The Chilli ME Challenge has a Facebook community and you can see the dozens of videos of chilli-eating for ME on YouTube. Amongst many others, Jen Brea and Lucinda Bateman have risen to the challenge and both nominated Ian Lipkin to do the same. Jen challenged Mady Hornig too, just to make sure.

Now Lipkin and Hornig are responding, and you can watch live.

Columbia's Chilli ME Challenge, LIVE from New York - don't miss it!

Make a note in your diaries: This Wednesday, 1st July at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PDT, 11 a.m. MDT, Noon CDT, 5 p.m. UK, 6 p.m. Europe). Visit Columbia's Chilli page to register for the webcast and even get a reminder.

See you there. And don't forget to donate first if you want them to really feel the heat.

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And there we have it! Thanks sooooooo much to Ian and Mady for doing this for us. That's really above and beyond the call!

And those were some great tags they've done (there are 60 people who work at the CII, for starters!).

And thank you, mystery donor, for the :moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag:

and to everyone else who donated. That was money well spent!

Time to get that video viral! :rocket:
And Ian is nominating Len Hutchins (Hutchins Family Foundation)?

And someone...

And someone from the Contagion movie...

The ENTIRE CII TEAM!!! Says if they want to get paid they've got to eat chillies... :D

And someone else from the movies, somebody to do with a Channing Tatum movie, I think - it's all going by so fast...
Steven Soderbergh, Scott Z Burns (Contagion)

Greg Jacobs (Magic Mike)
For some reason the video cut out right after they ate the habaneros! I am not sure why they ended it there. Ian and Mady did a fantastic job and I love the tags. A few people in the media watched it so it would be amazing if it got some publicity. I am impressed by how hard-core they are.

And $500k! I never thought watching people eat outrageously hot peppers could make me so happy.
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They took it well. Habaneros are no joke. And the $500k donation is fantastic news. Will it go to the microbiome project fund?
Aw, I had to miss it because I had an appointment today. But I've enjoyed reading through everyone's commentary. Sounds like it was great fun. Did I read that right about a half million dollar donation? Is that really right? Or have I read that wrong? I can't believe it! I'm feeling quite choked up about that. I'll see if I can find the recording to watch it now.
For some reason the video cut out right after they ate the habaneros! I am not sure why they ended it there.
I think Dr Lipkin making the "X" sign with his arms might have been the "safe word": the signal to, well, cut the signal, so they can spit things out before they start choking on a live broadcast :p
They were in tears after, along with me over their efforts and the 500k. After shots were taken and it's all going to be up on youtube guys! Does seem the money will be used for microbiome work. Couldn't take it all in! yeeeeeehaaaaaaa!
It was all so well done and organised!
Hornig and Lipkin participating in the Chili challenge. Half a million donation. Fluge and Mella results. Today has been a good day.:)
Just what I've been thinking. This feels like a significant day. Just the things Lipkin said about ME/CFS - how devastating it is - this from a major scientist was a gift. Then their willingness to eat the chillis and call on their friends and acquaintances was also very affirming. And although I realize advocacy has a lot of work ahead to get insurance to cover Rituximab for us, I'm feeling more hopeful that a potential significant treatment is in sight.