Drew Scanlon, known as the “blinking guy” in a popular internet meme, has raised thousands of dollars to end MS. (Bike MS)
One meme-famous man is using his internet fame to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS).
People share memes — funny or interesting videos, images, or collections of images — to react to conversations on the internet. Most of us give little thought to the people in those memes who become overnight internet sensations — but some have issues they are passionate about. One of the most recognizable meme subjects of the past decade, Drew Scanlon, has used his platform to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis — a condition that impacts several people in his life.
You’ve probably seen the GIF of a close-up shot of Scanlon blinking and shaking his head that went viral in 2017. Since then, it’s been used more than an estimated 1.7 billion times by people on the internet and is popularly known as the “blinking guy” meme. And now, he’s taking advantage of his recognizability as “the world’s go-to animated GIF for expressing incredulity” to get others involved in curing multiple sclerosis.
Since 2016, Scanlon has participated in Bike MS, biking a route more than 120 miles long each year as a fundraising event for MS research. “You see, two close friends of mine and members of their families suffer from MS,” Scanlon wrote on his fundraising page.
Scanlon notes on his fundraising page that the 2020 ride was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “If a fraction of those who have seen my goofy face donated to MS research, I have a feeling we could kick this thing in no time!”
According to Bike MS, Scanlon was the top fundraiser for the 2021 ride, which took place Sept. 18 and 19. Donations are still being accepted for the event, which has thus far raised nearly $1.2 million. Scanlon has thus far raised nearly $80,000.
You can contribute via Scanlon’s Bike MS fundraising page.
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