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Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. champions sick boy's cause

Avengers actor Robert Downey Jr. leapt into a muddy puddle to fulfill the wish of 8-year-old fan Aaron Hunter, who's battling a rare, life-threatening syndrome.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Robert Downey Jr. posted a video to his Facebook page on Wednesday that's pretty surprising if you don't know what's going on.

The Iron Man actor donned an all-white outfit and stepped into a muddy puddle to the tune of the Van Halen song Jump. He then danced about and issued this challenge: "All Avengers and Iron Man fans alike, I hearby challenge thee, go mad, jump for ROHHAD."


The “Muddy Puddle” challenge has been issued... Film yourself jumping in the biggest, muddiest puddle possible (keep it fun and safe) for 33 seconds...Then challenge 3 people to do the same...Please post the challenge to your social media platform and tag #GOMADJUMPFORROHHAD... No puddle no problem ...Follow the same rules minus the puddle...Remember have an awesome (safe) time...and don't forget to donate at crowdrise.com/rdj. Calling out my fellow #OGAVENGERS Chris Evans #scarlettjohansson Chris Hemsworth Mark Ruffalo @doncheadle @Renner4Real Samuel L. Jackson Paul Bettany Elizabeth Olsen Anthony Mackie and to the rest of the #MCU Chris Evans @brielarson @wongrel Chadwick Boseman Danai Gurira Dave Bautista (Batista) #beniciodeltoro #benedictcumberbatch #kevinfeige #bradleycooper #loudesposito Evangeline Lilly #martinfreeman @gwynethpaltrow @wellhayley Idris Elba @Jon Favreau @joshbrolin @karengillanofficial @letitiawright Pom Klementieff @jamesgunn The Russo Brothers Sean Gunn @imsebastianstan Stan Lee Tom Hiddleston @tomholland2013 Vin Diesel Winston Duke Zoe Saldana #paulrudd ( 🎥 Jimmy Rich 🙌🏼 @mo_freek) special thanks to Van Halen for your continued inspiration... and to Rohhad Association for your love and kindness #randomactfunding

Posted by Robert Downey Jr on Wednesday, March 28, 2018

This all started when young Avengers fan Aaron Hunter sent out an internet request in early 2017 asking to speak to Iron Man. 

Hunter, 8, has a rare life-threatening syndrome called ROHHAD, which stands for "rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysregulation, hypoventilation and autonomic dysregulation." 

Hunter is from Scotland, but his request was heard around the world with an assist from the ROHHAD Association, an awareness group raising funds for research into the syndrome, as well as the When You Wish Upon a Star charity. 

Inside Edition reports Downey originally talked to Hunter over FaceTime, but now they've actually had a chance to meet in person. 

Hunter successfully recruited Downey to his muddy-puddle challenge, modeled after the viral ice-bucket challenge geared toward raising funds for ALS research. The ROHHAD challenge is a bit messier, but that didn't stop Downey from frolicking in a sloppy pool while Hunter and his family watched.

Downey is also encouraging his fans to donate to the ROHHAD Association for the chance to win a trip to the world premiere of "Avengers: Infinity War" in Los Angeles. The superhero movie opens worldwide on April 27

Hunter's mom, Lisa Hunter, shared a message from her son on Facebook: "I love you so so much IronMan, your (sic) my best friend and I always knew you would want to help us."