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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Serving Young-Onset Dementia Awareness Hot

October 1, 2021 GMT
AFTD logo. (PRNewsFoto/Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration)
AFTD logo. (PRNewsFoto/Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration)
AFTD logo. (PRNewsFoto/Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration)

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Oct. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- If you’ve never experienced the mix of pure adrenaline and instant regret that comes from taking a quick shot of hot sauce, a new campaign can help you check that off your list, for a good cause.

Short for frontotemporal degeneration, FTD is the most common dementia under 60. Today though, the fight against what 60 Minutes calls “the cruelest disease you’ve never heard of” is hindered by a lack of awareness, even among medical professionals. Dedicated volunteers of The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) are working to change that, through the #FTDhotshotchallenge.

Participants film themselves drinking a shot of hot sauce, tag five friends, and donate to AFTD in support of FTD research.


The challenge, launched by people and families personally affected by FTD, has already begun to win over new audiences. As food blogger Kyle Getz ( @thetipsycritics ) tells it: “FTD was a new term to me but after doing some research… it became very clear that this was a significant movement and we wanted to be part of it.” When Kyle takes his shot, he’ll pour Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing Sauce.

Danielle Missale ( @dani_inthekitchen ) stole the show in a cook-off that launched this year’s #FTDhotshotchallenge. The recipe for her winning dish? “Double the spice: Spicy rice noodles served with spicy marinated steak,” she tells AFTD. “Reading the stories of families affected by FTD truly motivated me to do this.” Dani’s shot of choice: Frank’s RedHot Original.

For many, this campaign channels a hard-won determination to make a difference for the next family. When Caroline Dultz, one of the campaign’s founding volunteers, takes her shot of Revved Up Sauce’s Serrano hot sauce (@revvedupsauce), she’ll be honoring her mother Margaret, a physician diagnosed with FTD at 59.

“In a situation where there is very little I can do for my mother, the #FTDhotshotchallenge helps me to feel like I’m making a difference so that, eventually, others won’t have to suffer the way she is,” she says. “I know if she could, my mom would tell me that she’s proud of me, and want me to keep going.”


Model and activist Nicole Petrie uses her TikTok account ( @nicolepetrie ) to educate her more than 1.1 million followers on FTD. “My mom started to show signs of FTD in her mid-to-late 40s, and she’s now 57 years old,” Nicole says.

“I know that this journey can be scary, confusing, and… feel incredibly isolating,” she adds. “But a huge part of what I try to do with my platform is show that there is still so much hope and happiness even after you or a loved one has received an FTD diagnosis.”

Nicole – who will be featuring spicy vegan dishes on her social platforms to rally her followers to take action – encourages others just learning about FTD to become part of the movement. “Even if you don’t know anyone personally affected by this disease, know that you are truly helping families that need it.”

The #FTDhotshotchallenge launched September 27, to commemorate World FTD Awareness Week 2021. Through a generous matching gift from The Mike Walter Catalyst Fund, the first $12,500 raised will be matched 1:1. Additional matching gifts are planned to help the campaign reach this year’s target: raising $100,000 in support of FTD research.

The #FTDhotshotchallenge is being conducted in partnership with AFTD’s Food for Thought campaign, a national effort to raise FTD awareness in all 50 U.S. states.


#FTDhotshotchallenge on Instagram: @ftdhotshotchallenge

Sizzle Reel:

Campaign page:

The volunteer-founded and community-driven AFTD ( ) is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to improving quality of life for families affected by FTD, and driving research for a cure. If you or someone you know is facing FTD, you don’t have to take this journey alone. Contact our HelpLine by calling 1-866-507-7222, or emailing

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SOURCE The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration