What is Zebra Munchies?
What is Ehlers Danlos Syndrome?
Why Ehlers Danlos Syndrome?
 

Zebra Munchies is a 1950's style cereal commercial about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a rare connective tissue disease. It raises awareness for Ehlers Danlos using humor. It was completed in May of 2019.

 

 

Annie Tohill is an independent 2D animator currently based in Northern Virginia. The pencil test, which you can watch above, was completed as her senior thesis for the Bachelor of Arts program at Regent University.

 

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a rare genetic connective tissue disorder. It causes collagen to be produced weakly which typically results in joint hypermobility, where joints move further than they should due to overly stretchy ligaments.

 

Hypermobility can cause frequent subluxations (partial dislocations) and dislocations. The more often you dislocate/subluxate a joint the more likely you will injure it in the future. Frequent dislocations can cause permanent cartilage damage.

 

Weak connective tissues can cause issues with almost every part of the body. Some conditions associated with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome are postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), gastroparesis, irritable bowel syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis. The vascular type of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome can cause issues with blood vessels, including organ and blood vessel rupture.

 

There are several types of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. The most common are hypermobile type, classical type, and vascular type. All types have an associated gene mutation except for hypermobile type. The Ehlers-Danlos Society is currently funding research into a hypermobile type gene mutation. You can learn about all the types of EDS on the Ehlers Danlos Society's website.

 

To learn more about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome please see the Ehlers-Danlos Society's website.

 

I have a connective tissue disease related to Ehlers Danlos and deal with issues due to my hypermobile joints and the many co-morbid conditions that go with this. As I've continued to go through the diagnostic process, I've become a part of the EDS community online and have found a group of people who support each other as we deal with our complicated diagnoses.

I'm a medical nerd who enjoys learning about different medical conditions, and this film came out of the research I did on EDS when my major joint issues began. I wanted to be able to laugh about my body while sharing awareness.  A lot of educational materials on EDS are difficult for laymen to understand. Zebra Munchies offers a friendly entryway. Not knowing about EDS is the first barrier to a diagnosis. EDS is suspected to be much more common than is diagnosed (especially hEDS). Raising awareness can also lead to more research money for new treatments. 

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