Doctors Held a Mad Tea Party Challenge To Support Healthcare for Children


Over 50 doctors from hospitals across the United States gathered at Disney’s Magic Kingdom for the first weekend in March. They did not come to have a vacation in the Orlando area. Their primary purpose revolved around calling attention to the disparities and inequities in children’s clinical trials. This three-day event kicked off the first-ever “Spin to Save Kids! Challenge,” which involved the Mad Tea Party attraction at Magic Kingdom.

Mad Tea Party

This challenge was organized by the Institute for Advanced Clinical Trials for Children (I-ACT). They reported that almost $100,000 had been raised in donations already. The challenge spins on through March 31.

The initiative calls for community groups, teams, and individuals nationwide to participate in online “spin activities.” These activities use balls, tops, and tire swings, for example. Various spinning activities are encouraged to call attention to the fact that, in almost all instances, the development of children’s medical treatments of all types lag far behind the development of adult labels/treatments.

Opening Day at Magic Kingdom

Medical Professionals Riding the Mad Tea Party

Donning their white coats, pediatricians, nurses, and pediatric public health officials from around the country have worked overtime the last three days to establish a world record for the continuous riding of the Magic Kingdom’s famous and adored spinning tea cups, the Mad Tea Party. Their overall message involves saying that it’s critically essential to accelerate the development of children’s labels:

“The issue of clinical trials for children is a deadly serious one,” says Betsy Garofalo, MD, chair of the I-ACT board of directors. “While it’s long overdue that the biopharma and medical communities prioritize kids’ trials, in a post-COVID world, the need is inescapably urgent.”


I-ACT is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization exclusively committed to advancing and accelerating Children’s Clinical Trials. This nonprofit organization works to ensure every child with a medical need receives timely access to the best therapies. It is committed to advocating for children with the same level of urgency as adults.

On average, completion of a pediatric drug development program takes 15 years. Also, it takes nine years from adult approval for a pediatric label to be made. Since innovative drug development in pediatrics is slow and inadequate, more than 50% of the drugs used in children and 90% in neonates are prescribed off-label and without efficient data.

Mad Tea party
Photo Credit: SpinChallenge.ord

Doctor Kenneth Alexander

“COVID-19 proved that the world is unprepared to meet and manage the life-threatening challenge of a global pandemic,” said Kenneth Alexander, MD, Ph.D., chief division of Infectious Diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, FL. “And children were the ones most notably left behind. Our team at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando was proud to be out in full force on the Tea Cups in order to call the nation’s attention to this disturbing inequity.”

Over the past two months, several organizations have heard the call. For example, the multi-city table tennis club SPIN took on the challenge. Doctors and nurses at the University of Utah Children’s Hospital took skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating to the mountains for children’s clinical trials. Throughout March, organizations like Cycle Bar, the Orlando Mom Collective, and the International Children’s Advisory Network will take on the challenge to close the gap in children’s pharmaceutical development.

This inaugural event hopes to run annually and involve pediatricians and medical professionals nationwide. Donations will help I-ACT protect children. Also, money raised will help challenge pediatricians, bio-pharma companies, and clinical research organizations to contribute resources to solve the problem.

For more information on how to participate and donate, please visit their website.

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