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What one tweet did for EB awareness

Harry Styles of the popular band "One Direction" helped DEBRA Ireland's "Release Your Butterfly" campaign reach an incredible number of people.

If we had a magic wand, how would we use it to create more awareness for EB? Top of the wish list would most likely be to get one of the biggest stars in the world to tell all their fans about EB.

With a little bit of creativity, a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, the team at DEBRA Ireland managed to do just that, for this year's EB Awareness Day, on October 25th. With the help of 9-year old Claudia Scanlon, a "One Direction" fan who has EB, they persuaded the most popular member of the band, Harry Styles, to join DEBRA Ireland's "Release Your Butterfly" campaign.

Release Your Butterfly campaign

This campaign called on DEBRA supporters to "release their butterfly", in the form of photos of butterfly tattoos, transfers, drawings etc., shared through social media. 

Fortunately, Harry Styles has a butterfly tattoo and, even more fortunately, he has over 17 million followers on Twitter! He tweeted a photo of his butterfly tattoo in the early hours of the morning on October 25th and encouraged his fans to join him, by releasing their butterflies for EB. The response was astonishing. The tweet went viral with over 100,000 people retweeting his message to their own followers. Even the cleverest people in the DEBRA Ireland office can't even do the maths on how many people it eventually reached! 50,000 people visited DEBRA Ireland's website to find out more and the butterfly images flowed in. This 3-minute video tells the full story and shows some of the best photos from the campaign.

Avril Kennan, DEBRA Ireland