Lee Carseldine And David Genat Re-Launch The Towel Challenge In Support Of The Stroke Foundation
Australian Survivor: All Stars Lee Carseldine and David Genat have re-launched the towel challenge to support a cause close to Lee's heart.
The former cricketer exited the competition last night, after hearing the devastating news that his mother Beth had suffered a "massive stroke".
Lee told 10 daily ahead of the episode's broadcast that his mother passed away in Australia before he could make it home and that his grief was still raw after the abrupt loss.
"We’re five months into the grieving process of someone who was a massive part of everyone’s life -- not only us in the immediate family but the extended family, her sisters," he added.
Lee's Survivor family rallied around him after hearing the news and -- after the whole cast was back in Australia -- his KaloKalo tribemate David Genat approached him with an idea to raise awareness about the effect that stroke has on Australians and their families.
Genat had recently launched an Instagram initiative where he challenged Survivor stars (including Daisy Richardson, Shaun Hampson and even JLP) to take their kit off and pose wearing nothing but a white towel -- but saw the potential to use the #TowelChallenge for good.
"He said, ‘This is happening, it’s going a bit viral at the moment -- I can either run with it and have a bit of fun or we can stop it now and launch it later with a really good charity behind it’ and I said, ‘Let’s do it’.
Lee said he had to process the idea for a "little bit because it was still pretty fresh and everybody was just off the island" but after getting the Stroke Foundation on board, they hit the ground running.
Lee was motivated to join the All Stars cast after his mother was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) six months earlier -- her stroke was unrelated to the diagnosis.
His father also experienced a stroke 14 years earlier.
"It’s taken my mum and it really severely affected my dad as well. So we’ve got the whole Survivor community behind it, they’ve donned the white towel and uploaded it to Instagram in black and white."
Lee is encouraging not just the Survivor cast but the entire community of fans to get involved in the challenge.
"You can sign up yourself or you can donate to the page and we’ll have all those links there as well as the general donation page," he told 10 daily.
"Or you can sign up yourself and call out people and say, hey I’m going to get half-naked on Instagram with a towel on, do you want to give me some money?'
With each dollar that’s raised as well, it helps with research. We’re hoping to do some good things out of a tragedy.
Lee praised the Golden God for his part in getting the project running, saying he couldn't thank Dave enough for his generosity.
"He gets stuff done -- he does it in the game and he does it in real life, as well.
"We only knew each other really for two weeks out on the island, because we were on separate tribes, and for him to bend over backward and give up his time, even when he’s so busy at the moment to do this...I can’t thank him enough."
Lee explained that each dollar raised will help with crucial research conducted by the Stroke Foundation.