The Big Sunflower Project aims to raise awareness of the rare neuromuscular conditions known as centronuclear and myotubular myopathy by asking people to grow a sunflower and share their sunflower photos on social media. It was founded by Toni after she and her father Mike were diagnosed with centronuclear myopathy.
The project first invited people to grow sunflowers in 2011. Toni says ‘I have always loved the way that sunflowers grow to such dizzy heights, as if they are on a mission to touch the sky and nothing can hold them back. It occurred to me that many charity fundraising and awareness raising type projects involved people doing something physical – being sponsored to run, swim, climb or bicycle, something that even I, although ambulatory, would not be keen to do. However popping a seed in a pot and nurturing it for a few weeks was something most people could do, whatever their physical ability and that was very appealing to me, because it meant that those diagnosed with centronuclear and myotubular myopathy could take part too.’
To date participants have joined the project from across the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the USA, the Middle East, Costa Rica, Argentina, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Croatia, Hungary, Sweden, Austria, Lithuania, Greece and Poland.
Could you grow a sunflower to raise awareness of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy too? Taking part is easy.
1. Buy a packet of sunflower seeds.
2. Plant a seed in a sunny spot, water regularly and watch it grow.
3. Take a photo of your sunflower and share on your favourite social media platform using
Want to learn more? Visit The Big Sunflower project website below.
© Toni Louise Abram at Izzy Wizzy. All Rights Reserved.