Sunday, November 9, 2008

Social Media Experiment to help Diabetes Research

A peer of mine at Fullhouse, Chris Mischler, was a regular-looking guy a month ago. Today, he looks a bit like Mr. T--minus a certain amount of body mass and a bit paler. He's undergoing the change to raise money for Diabetes research as part of an agency-wide effort to support the Diabetes Research Institute.

The first phases of Chris's fundraising effort occurred amongst family, friends, and peers, but now Chris and the rest of us want to see if we can use Social Media to reach a wider audience. A web site has been set up,, so that others can participate.

If we raise $2500, he'll get a small tattoo that reads "I pity the fool." He'll add Mr. T's head to the message at the $7,500 level. At $20,000, he'll double the size of the tattoo, and at $50,000 he'll get an arm sleeve tattoo that covers his entire upper arm with the A-Team. Should we succeed in "going viral" and get enough support, at $100k he'll get an entire back tattoo complete with the A Team van and a few explosions!

The first phases of our effort to gain notoriety for the Mr. T Diabetes Challenge are working well. Friends and peers have been asking those they know to contribute, and as of the moment I type this, we are just $540 away from the goal needed for Chris to get his first tattoo.

We also are working mainstream media with some success. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl featured Chris in his column this morning. The article, "Hey, don't be fooled by the mohawk," can be read on

So, here's a request for those of you reading this. Please consider doing one or more of the following to assist with the effort to raise needed funds for Diabetes Research:
  • If you find this an interesting and worthwhile store, please share it. Blog about it. Post it to Twitter, Facebook, or your other social networking sites. Tell friends. Raising awareness costs you nothing but a bit of time!

  • Visit the site ( and Digg it. You'll find a link at the bottom of the fundraising page. Or, you can just click here to Digg the Mr. T Diabetes Challenge page. Now, how much easier can it be to help a charitable effort?

  • Lastly, and obviously, visit Mr. T Diabetes Challenge and donate some cash. Any amount is appreciated--after all, if we can get 54 people to donate just $10, Chris will forever be sporting a "I pity the fool" tattoo. Of course, more is appreciated, but we understand times are tough, so every little donation helps!
How far can Social Media spread word of this worthwhile effort? Will it reach $2,500 worth of eyes or $100,000 worth? Time will tell, but only if you help spread the word!

If you have other ideas on how we might promote the Mr. T Diabetes Challenge, please comment below. Your thoughts and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

UPDATE: On Sunday, November 9th, the funds raised hit the $2,500 level. This means Chris will get an "I Pity the Fool" tattoo. It also means we have two weeks to get to the $7,500 level, which will require Chris to get Mr. T's face as part of the tattoo. I hope you'll consider donating a few bucks or sharing the link to the site with others!


Anonymous said...

Hate to be the party pooper, but where is the money for all that ink going to come from, then? Tattoos ain't cheap, y'know. Just curious.

Augie Ray said...


A local tattoo parlor is considering contributing to the effort. Or, Chris will fund the tattoo himself. No donated money will go to the tattoo!

Anonymous said...

Cool beans. Thanks for the clarification.