Whenever I strip down to my underwear and start running the streets of my home town I generally get fined or spend a night in the drunk tank. Sometimes both. It might be because of a corrupt system, or it might be because the town policemen are simply done with my shenanigans. Or it might simply be because I’m not doing it out of a sense of solidarity like the people who participate in the Cupid Undie Run to raise funds for neurofibromatosis.
The Cupid Undie Run
All jokes aside, Detroit has seen yesterday what was probably the largest number of people running down the city’s streets in nothing but their underwear. The roughly 1,200 participants took their clothes off and managed to raise $300,000 that will go to help the research against neurofibromatosis.
Starting in 2014, the Cupid Undie Run has already become a yearly tradition in Detroit, with over a thousand participants showing up on Valentine’s Day to run the half a mile in downtown so that scientists investigating the horrible disease get more funding.
As expected, pretty much all sense of decorum was set aside, with citizens wearing nothing but their undergarments along with the occasional cape, Burger King crown, tie, tutu, mittens, or hat and running for half a mile through slightly below freezing temperatures, only to end the race at a cafe, cannonballing in a pile of snow, or in some cases, both.
But the participants didn’t go in unaided, as there was a pre-run warm-up party held at Filmore. Except for some mild cases of hypothermia which were easily fixed by hot chocolate, as well as some nausea and headaches caused by the pre-party, everything went smooth as butter.
What is neurofibromatosis?
Now, it’s time to fill you in regarding the cause for which the 1,200 Detroit citizens dropped their clothes.
Neurofibromatosis is a genetic condition that generates the growth of abnormal formations on the nerve level. Aside from having a genetic predisposition towards developing tumors, neurofibromatosis sufferers can see the growths appearing on pretty much any nerve in their body, even forming the occasional cluster.
The surprisingly common illness appears in about one in three thousand individuals, and it can lead to tremendous amounts of pain, blindness, convulsions, and even learning disabilities. Although it is currently treatable by modern tumor removing procedures, researchers still don’t know too much about the disease and how it appears, so they want to learn more about in order to perhaps prevent it altogether.
Image source: Flickr