For most people, meeting Iron Man, aka Robert Downey Jr., is a fantasy, a dream that will never come to pass. But for one brave young man, it’s a dream that came true.
Aaron Hunter is an eight-year-old boy who lives in Scotland with a rare syndrome called ROHHAD, which stands for rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysregulation, hypoventilation and autonomic dysregulation. In layman’s terms, that means the dozens of children worldwide that suffer from this life-threatening disease gain weight rapidly, sweat excessively, have difficulty breathing and are at an increased risk of developing tumors.
In January 2017, the ROHHAD Association tweeted a video of Aaron asking his favorite superhero, Iron Man, to help him raise awareness and money to find a cure for the disease. After the #AaronNeedsIronMan campaign went viral, Aaron’s messaged finally reached his hero, and the two made first contact on FaceTime.
— ROHHAD Association (@ROHHAD_GLOBAL) January 28, 2017
In March, the Avenger went to work fighting for a cure with tweets, Instagram videos and photos urging people to donate money, as he was compelled to do. He even offered fans a chance to meet him at the Avengers Infinity War premiere if they donated $10 to the ROHHAD Association.
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) March 16, 2018
On March 24, Downey and Aaron met in person and posted a sweet selfie reminding people that meeting Iron Man and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) cast is still very much on the table if people donate. Move over War Machine, Iron Man has a new sidekick.
Hello all. With our selfie game on point, Aaron and I are devising ways we can #gomadforrohhad … Donate just $10 bux(LINK IN BIO)to win a trip to #hollywood and witness @marvelstudios #avengersinfinitywar with me and the rest of the #MCU … Proceeds are going to benefit the @rohhad_association_charity and @briantcity #brianortegafoundation … The more times you enter the better the chance of winning … See you there !#randomactfunding #TeamStark #runonsentencegalore
Together, the two created the #GoMadJumpForROHHAD Muddy Puddle Challenge to increase awareness for their cause. Much like the Ice Bucket Challenge before it, people attempt the challenge on social media and tag three people who they’d like to challenge next. Downey acted as the precursor of the challenge, soaking a pure white outfit with mud and then calling out the entire MCU to attempt the challenge.
The “Muddy Puddle” challenge has been issued… Film yourself jumping in the biggest, muddiest puddle possible for 33 seconds(keep it fun and safe) Then challenge 3 people to do the same… Please post the challenge to your social media platform and tag #GOMADJUMPFORROHHAD… No puddle no problem … Follow the same rules minus the puddle… Remember have an awesome (safe) time… To donate click the link in my BIO or go to crowdrise.com/rdj Calling out my fellow #OGAVENGERS #ChrisEvans #scarlettjohansson @chrishemsworth @markruffalo @doncheadle @renner4real @samuelljackson @paulbettany @elizabetholsenofficial #anthonymackie and to the rest of the #MCU @prattprattpratt @brielarson @wongrel @chadwickboseman @danaigurira @davebautista #beniciodeltoro #benedictcumberbatch #kevinfeige #bradleycooper #loudesposito @evangelinelillyofficial #martinfreeman @gwynethpaltrow @wellhayley @idriselba @jonfavreau @joshbrolin @karengillanofficial @letitiawright @pom.klementieff @jamesgunn @therussobrothers @thejudgegunn @imsebastianstan @therealstanlee @marvelstudios @twhiddleston @tomholland2013 @vindiesel @winstoncduke @zoesaldana #paulrudd ( 🎥 @jimmy_rich 🙌🏼 @mo_freek ) special thanks to @vanhalen for your continued inspiration… and to @rohhad_association_charity for your love and kindness #randomactfunding
Aaron and Downey continue to work hard raising money and awareness for ROHHAD, and hopefully their efforts will lead to a cure being found in the coming years. For more info or to donate to the cause visit crowdrise.com.
I may play Iron Man, but Aaron is the true hero. Go to https://t.co/ywpvrsejuv to see the full story. Donate to @ROHHAD_Global and help Aaron and his friends fight on. Every $10 is a chance to join me at #AvengersInfinityWar premiere.#randomactfunding #findacure 🎥@kevinfordmedia pic.twitter.com/H7rqVIRX72
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) March 30, 2018