This year’s Plunge for Elodie hopes to raise $500K for EB research

Supporters to brave freezing waters March 10-April 27

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by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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The 7th annual Plunge for Elodie is set to raise $500,000 for epidermolysis bullosa (EB) research, which would bring the total raised by the event to date to more than $2.5 million, the EB Research Partnership (EBRP) said.

From March 10 to April 27, supporters will jump into freezing water at one of more than 20 official locations around the world. There’s also an option for a virtual plunge.

Plunge for Elodie started in 2018 as a small, local fundraiser in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Named after Elodie Kubik, a girl born in 2016 with a severe form of EB, it was set up by childhood friends of Elodie’s mother, Emily. It’s since become a “global movement,” with more than a million participants, EBRP said.

“None of us had ever heard of EB when Elodie was born, but as we learned more about the disease — and witnessed the challenges that EB families face — we felt compelled to act,” Kristan Khtikian, Plunge for Elodie co-chair, said in a EBRP press release.

“We formed this event with the goal of making a splash for the cause,” Khtikian said. “Our splash turned into a global wave, and we won’t stop until a cure is reached.”

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Plunges around the world

This year’s U.S. plunges are set for Cleveland, Ohio; Greenwich and West Hartford, Connecticut; Nashville, Tennessee; Sheridan, Wyoming; Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; New York, Beacon, and Utica, New York; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Seattle, Washington.

In Australia, plunges will be in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide. Other locations include Okinawa, Japan, and North Devon and the Channel Islands in the U.K. More information on each site is available on the Plunge for Elodie website.

Virtual Plunge campaign will take place March 3-April 7.

Abeona Therapeutics, Belkin Family Lookout Farm, Dellbrook JKS, iHeartMedia, and Sophia’s Hope are sponsoring the 2024 Plunge for Elodie.

About 500,000 people worldwide have EB, according to the EBRP, the largest global nonprofit working to fund research for the condition. Children with EB are sometimes called butterfly children because of their fragile skin. Common symptoms include blisters, deformed fingernails and toenails, swallowing difficulties, and white skin bumps.