Today, TED Fellow Darius Weems, of Darius Goes West fame, turns 21! At age 15, Darius and eleven of his best friends drove across the U.S. to attempt to convince MTV to customize Darius’ wheelchair on Pimp My Ride. Darius, born with a fatal disease called Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), was the star of the hilarious and touching documentary Darius Goes West, directed by crew member and TED Fellow Logan Smalley.
The movie has grown into a movement as Darius and his crew continue to travel the country, raising funds and promoting awareness of DMD and accessibility issues. To date, the group has visited 42 states, driven some 150,000 miles, and raised nearly $2 million to find a treatment or cure for DMD.
Watch the Darius Goes West trailer >>
To celebrate Darius’ 21st birthday, pro poker players Bryan Devonshire and Gavin Smith are hosting a No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em tournament in Las Vegas on October 2, and inviting the world. To reserve your spot at the poker table with Darius and his crew (or at their lunch table the next day) click here.
Can’t make it to Vegas? Buy Darius a 21st birthday “drink” online! Darius’ birthday wish is to get 999 donations to help scientists develop a concoction to slow the progression of DMD — the number one genetic killer of children. You can also show your support by taking the “Goslabi Challenge:” down a spoonful of wasabi just like Darius did in the film!
Watch the Goslabi Challenge video >>
If you’re an educator, you can get a copy of Darius Goes West free by clicking here. And Darius or a member of the crew will make a live Skype appearance for your classroom’s premiere!