This Parkinson's group gave the mannequin challenge real power by breaking its rules.

You remember the mannequin challenge, right?

It was the viral video meme that occupied our time in 2016 between mourning celebrity deaths and googling "Brexit." The premise of the challenge was to stage a scene in which participants held perfectly still while a camera moved around or through them and music (usually the song "Black Beatles") played in the background, creating a mannequin-like visual effect.

Much like the "Harlem Shake" and the ice bucket challenge, the videos became increasingly elaborate and high profile, with everyone from Hillary Clinton to the Dallas Cowboys jumping in on the action.

Of course, holding still for brief periods of time comes more easily to some people than to others.

Which is exactly the point of a new, and very clever, entry to the mannequin challenge.

It comes from Parkinson's NSW, an Australia-based support network for people who have Parkinson's disease. They used the mannequin challenge concept to shine a powerful light on the disease's symptoms and the everyday struggles people with it face.

Parkinson's disease is a nervous system disorder that affects movement and can create tremors in the body. They're small at first but over time can become debilitating — making common, daily tasks nearly impossible to complete.

Since the very premise of the mannequin challenge involves standing perfectly still, something many people with Parkinson's cannot do, the message of the video is clear. "Until there's a cure, life is our challenge," reads the title card at the end of the video.

There is currently no cure for Parkinson's, but scientists believe that finding one is possible through further research.

According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, there are currently 1 million Americans living with Parkinson's and approximately 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Research is dependent on funding, and funding is dependent on support and awareness, so using a viral trend is a brilliant idea that might make a real difference.

The ice bucket challenge, silly though it may have seemed at the time, actually did help fund a real breakthrough in finding a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease). Viral trends can be weird and seemingly meaningless, but every once in a while, they can also really make a difference.

Watch the full Parkinson's NSW mannequin challenge video here:

Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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