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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

chilli challenge1The #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.

chilli-plate

Simon McGrath

Support Phoenix Rising

Phoenix Rising is a registered 501 c.(3) non profit. We support ME/CFS and NEID patients through rigorous reporting, reliable information, effective advocacy and the provision of online services which empower patients and help them to cope with their isolation.

There are many ways you can help Phoenix Rising to continue its work. If you feel able to offer your time and talent, we could really use some more authors, proof-readers, fundraisers, technicians etc. We’d also love to expand our Board of Directors. So, if you think you can help in any way then please contact Mark through the Forums.

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{ 103 comments… add one }

  • SDSue July 1, 2015, 11:15 am

    Will they also be live-streaming the “back end”? lol.

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:16 am

    Is it my imagination or has Mady's tongue gone black?

    And Mady is tagging her sister-in-law – she does jewellery for charities of the buyer's choice (that's nice!) – wow, $1.2 million she's raised for all sorts of charities…

    And Drew somebody who's the head of a restaurant group (Nobu?)…

    And Tom somebody, another restaurant person (?)…

    And Gabe Kennedy, another food person…

    She's tagging a shedload there, but I reckon she's earned it!

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:17 am
    SDSue

    Will they also be live-streaming the “back end”? lol.

    Man, I hope not.

  • Cheshire July 1, 2015, 11:18 am

    Calling Soderberg!

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:19 am

    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… 😀

    And someone else from the movies, somebody to do with a Channing Tatum movie, I think – it's all going by so fast…

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:20 am

    Scary pepper coming up, can't watch…

  • Nielk July 1, 2015, 11:20 am

    Is the fire extinguisher there on the side just in case….?

  • adreno July 1, 2015, 11:22 am

    Lipkin is hardcore!

  • Sushi July 1, 2015, 11:23 am

    It stopped playing…is that because it was too painful to watch more?

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:23 am

    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:

  • Scarecrow July 1, 2015, 11:24 am
    Sasha

    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… 😀

    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)

  • Nielk July 1, 2015, 11:24 am

    I hope they are ok.

  • Never Give Up July 1, 2015, 11:25 am

    Darn! My video cut out!

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:26 am
    Nielk

    I hope they are ok.

    Probably got their heads in buckets of cold water now (ironically, the ice-bucket challenge).

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 11:26 am
    Never Give Up

    Darn! My video cut out!

    It finished at about 16 minutes – it says you can play it back, though.

  • Scarecrow July 1, 2015, 11:26 am
    adreno

    Lipkin is hardcore!

    He does have an impressive pain threshold.

    I felt for Mady.

  • Never Give Up July 1, 2015, 11:27 am
    Sasha

    Holy shit! Someone donated half a million bucks!

    Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Simon July 1, 2015, 11:27 am
    Never Give Up

    Darn! My video cut out!

    Mine too, at the moment those habaneros went in their mouths. Damn indeed!

  • Scarecrow July 1, 2015, 11:33 am

    This is the website for the jewellery mentioned by Mady:

    http://www.joanhornig.com/

    All profits donated to the charity of the purchaser's choice.

  • Valentijn July 1, 2015, 11:38 am
    Sasha

    And Tom somebody, another restaurant person (?)…

    That was Tom Colicchio, famous for being a chef and also for being a judge on the Top Chef cooking competition series in the US. I think Mady also said that he had helped them prepare for the hotter chili.

  • searcher July 1, 2015, 1:10 pm

    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.

  • Never Give Up July 1, 2015, 1:17 pm

    Now would be a good time to forward the link with some name dropping and basic facts about ME to your local media outlets as @Sasha suggests here http://phoenixrising.me/archives/26876. Health and entertainment editors would be the most interested.

  • A.B. July 1, 2015, 1:21 pm

    They took it well. Habaneros are no joke. And the $500k donation is fantastic news. Will it go to the microbiome project fund?

  • Bob July 1, 2015, 1:32 pm

    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.

  • Bob July 1, 2015, 1:36 pm

    If anyone missed it, the recording is available here:
    http://livestream.com/accounts/7100374/chilime

    I'm going to watch it now.

  • Valentijn July 1, 2015, 2:24 pm
    searcher

    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

  • aimossy July 1, 2015, 3:42 pm

    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!

  • Kina July 1, 2015, 3:57 pm

    Hornig and Lipkin participating in the Chili challenge. Half a million donation. Fluge and Mella results. Today has been a good day.:)

  • dancer July 1, 2015, 4:04 pm
    Kina

    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.

  • Sasha July 1, 2015, 4:12 pm
    Kina

    Hornig and Lipkin participating in the Chili challenge. Half a million donation. Fluge and Mella results. Today has been a good day.:)

    And today (July 1st) is the first day of the second half of 2015, so if this is an indication… :)

  • Scarecrow July 1, 2015, 4:17 pm

    From Livestream:

    Columbia Public Health
    The heat is brutal… when they recover from this they will get back to the research.

  • Bob July 3, 2015, 12:48 pm

    The Aftermath!

    Catch highlights & the aftermath of Drs Lipkin & Hornig's chilli ME challenge.

    (Edit: warning, it's brutal!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSNE6JN0SxQ

  • Bob July 3, 2015, 12:54 pm
  • searcher July 3, 2015, 1:08 pm

    If you skip to 4:50 you can see what happened after they cut off the live video. It looks brutal.

    At one point Mady Hornig says "When you eat pepto bismo and yogurt, you're not ok" in response to one of her team members asking if she's all right.

    I'm inspired to donate a little more to thank them for their sacrifice. They should have nominated Francis Collins as maybe he would consider donating a few of NIH's funds to help research…. Just kidding of course, I guess it's still all up to disabled patients and our supporters.

  • mango July 3, 2015, 2:50 pm

    For those of you on Twitter and/or Instagram, here’s how to get in touch with a few of the nominees — to remind them, encourage them etc..! :)

    Twitter:
    @JoeManganiello
    @channingtatum
    @tomcolicchio
    @GabeKennedy
    @hutchins_glenn

    Instagram:
    @channingtatum
    @joemanganiello
    @tcolic
    @Gabe_Kennedy

    The hashtag is #ChiliMEChallenge

    If you don’t feel like writing something yourself, check out @CII_Columbia on Twitter and retweet their tweets!

    View attachment 11729

    View attachment 11731

  • Bob July 3, 2015, 3:29 pm

    Well folks, they did this for us and our community. It's nice to have friends on our side, demonstrating their commitment to the community and the research. They could have easily ducked out of ME/CFS research and pursued something more scientifically glamorous with easier access to resources. But they've stuck with us. And now they got more resources to pursue further research.

  • SOC July 3, 2015, 10:33 pm
    searcher

    If you skip to 4:50 you can see what happened after they cut off the live video. It looks brutal.

    At one point Mady Hornig says "When you eat pepto bismo and yogurt, you're not ok" in response to one of her team members asking if she's all right.

    O…M…G

    Our researchers shouldn't have to suffer like that on our behalf. :( I'll be happy for them to work a few overtime hours instead. 😉

    Next time let's think up something a little less painful, eh? :p

    These are two amazing people, in many more ways than one. Many thanks to them for everything they've done for us… the research, the risk to their careers for taking on ME/CFS, the fund-raising. They don't come much better than this. :love:

    Where's our self-proclaimed dedicated supporter, Prof Wessely? Shall we call him out? Hey Wessely, want a habanero? Oh wait, he wouldn't want to support biomedical research, that would only encourage our false illness beliefs. Oh heck, if I can watch him eat a bunch of hot peppers, he can raise money for CBT/GET research. Better than him getting government funds for his crap research at least.

    Do we need a Send Prof Wessely a Habanero campaign?

  • JaimeS July 6, 2015, 9:37 pm

    These are good people. <3

  • Esther12 July 7, 2015, 7:09 am

    Would be good to do more to draw attention to this – maybe people got a bit distracted by the rituximab announcement at the same time? Thanks for all those working on it, and especially to Lipkin and Hornig.

  • Forbin July 7, 2015, 6:10 pm

    It's interesting to note that chili peppers don't actually "burn" the tissues, rather the capsaicin they contain binds to the TRPV1 receptor (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1), which, in turn, starts the process by which the nerves transmit a burning sensation to brain. The body's response to this signal causes inflammation in the absence of actual physical injury.

    Ironically, TRPV1 is one of the expressed genes that was found to be dysregulated in ME by Alan Light, et al.

    In this recent video, Alan Light suggests that this dysregulation of TRPV1 may have something to do with the thermal dysregulation experienced by some ME patients.

    Somehow, this makes the chili pepper challenge seem especially apt.

    Discussion of TRPV1 starts at 4:38.

  • snowathlete July 7, 2015, 7:20 pm

    I missed this. I was blindsided by my oven breaking down and the Rituximab paper but I've now taken a proper look at this. Awesome job by all those involved – well done. And special thanks of course to Hornig and Lipkin!
    And thanks to whoever made that huge donation, that was awesome too and it's really going to make a difference to a lot of people's lives.

    If you were nominated and you're reading this, then please help us by doing the challenge. It's a small thing that has an enormous positive impact which will last long after the chillie.

  • JAH July 10, 2015, 5:01 pm

    Just saw this tweet from Columbia. I'm hoping they post a video of the team, love these guys and gals…

    @CII_Columbia: Coming soon: entire CII team responds to the #chiliMEchallenge !

  • Brenda Hankins July 11, 2015, 2:22 pm
    DawnMarie

    Come on Drs. Klimas and Rey, where's your video???

    Yes. And Dr. Montoya too.

  • Simon July 12, 2015, 12:32 pm

    CII staff take the #ChiliMEChallenge

    "From the Center for Infection and Immunity
    "In support of the of the CFS community"
    love it!

    "How can you work and get ahead
    If you can't even get out of bed?"

    Wow, anyone seen this? Great rap
    " "
    That bit where they seem to nominate the Microbe Discovery Project and me is a typo.

  • Sasha July 12, 2015, 12:48 pm
    Simon

    " "
    That bit where they seem to nominate the Microbe Discovery Project and me is a typo.

    Yes, definitely a typo (except where they name you, Simon! :devil:).

    OK, that's a donation from me coming up…:oops:

  • Valentijn July 12, 2015, 1:03 pm
    Simon

    That bit where they seem to nominate the Microbe Discovery Project and me is a typo.

    Sounded pretty clear to me! Is that the sound of future chili-munching that I hear? 😆

  • Simon July 12, 2015, 1:09 pm
    Valentijn

    Sounded pretty clear to me! Is that the sound of future chili-munching that I hear? 😆

    :eek::aghhh::nervous::cry::cry:
    I'm hoping a bar of chilli chocolate will cut it…

  • Sasha July 12, 2015, 1:11 pm
    Simon

    :eek::aghhh::nervous::cry::cry:
    I'm hoping a bar of chilli chocolate will cut it…

    Close enough, I reckon!

  • Scarecrow July 12, 2015, 1:38 pm
    Simon

    That bit where they seem to nominate the Microbe Discovery Project and me is a typo.

    How I laughed until I remembered I helped out in a very, very small way.

    Well, that'll be a very, very small chilli then.

  • Bob July 12, 2015, 2:49 pm

    Bob's nowhere to be seen. Can't find him anywhere! 😎 :whistle: Last time he ate chillis, he had to sit on the toilet all night, with stomach cramps and diarrhoea. :wide-eyed::vomit::ill::depressed::cry: So perhaps he's hiding under his bed!