VIDEO: People with Parkinson’s freeze for ‘mannequin challenge’


Author: Almaz OhenePublished: 5 January 2017

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Parkinson’s campaigners worldwide are taking up the ‘mannequin challenge’ – the latest social media trend to sweep the web – to show that ‘freezing’ is part of everyday life for many people with the condition

To share the reality of ‘freezing of gait’, major Parkinson’s organisations around the world have filmed their own versions of the popular social media trend, the #MannequinChallenge. Here are three of the most popular – from Parkinson’s UK, the Parkinson Voice Project in the US and Parkinson’s NSW in Australia.

1. Parkinson’s UK

It launched a campaign featuring four videos showing people unable to move in everyday scenarios such as crossing the street, making a cup of tea and answering the front door.

The emotive messaging asks viewers to “Donate. Now. So their challenge can end.”

2. Parkinson Voice Project

Patients at the Parkinson Voice Project’s clinic in Texas, US, showed viewers the interactive and dynamic nature of their regular speech therapy classes, as they pause for a minute for the camera stunt.

3. Parkinson’s NSW

The Australian organisation took a different approach and focused on people with Parkinson’s tremors among those frozen in time.

4. Vlaamse Parkinson Liga

This challenge was an initiative by a group from Ghent, Belgium who are part of the Vlaamse Parkinson Liga (VPL), the Flemish Parkinson’s disease association. They wanted to highlight the fact that although Parkinson’s patients freeze due to stability problems, it’s also difficult to freeze on demand. The organisation’s president is Yves Meersman, who is also the lead chef behind the Parki’s Kookatelier project.


First it was ‘planking’, then came the ice bucket challenge, and now ‘mannequin challenge’ videos are sweeping the web ­– a viral internet video trend where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them.

Read more: Journalist Liz Jackson’s emotional film about her Parkinson’s is “TV at its finest”

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