TED Fellows » TED Fellows Network » Darius Weems

Darius Weems

DMD advocate + filmmaker

Fellows Class:
Darius Weems

Professional Role

Current Titles:

Advocate for Duchenne muscular dystrophy Public speaker Rap artist

Current Organizations:

Darius Goes West


Photos

Uploaded Photos

Videos

Darius Goes West: The Vehicle

Darius leaves home for the first time in his life to try to get his wheelchair customized on MTV's Pimp My Ride, and to raise awareness for his disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The feature length documentary has won 28 film festival awards, and served as the centerpiece for a nation-wide grassroots movement. To learn more visit www.dariusgoeswest.org

View video on Youtube »



Projects

Darius Goes West
07/22/2005 – present
We are a movie turned worldwide grassroots movement. To date we have raised over $2 million for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research.
Project Website »

Darius Raps
07/23/2011 – present
I write and record inspirational and motivational raps about my life. Part of the proceeds go to DMD research.
Project Website »


Biography

I was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). I'm also kind of a big dude. This means mobility and accessibility became issues for me. That, combined with a few other factors, meant I didn't go many places that public transportation couldn't take me: school, church, movies, summer camp, the mall.

"Then a couple of guys who were up to no good, started making trouble in my neighborhood." What I mean is, a group of my friends decided that we should go on a cross-country road trip to try and get my wheelchair customized on MTV's Pimp My Ride. The footage became a documentary called Darius Goes West. I have to plug it because we're as independent and nonprofit as it gets. The point of the movie, and I also consider this to be the point of my life, is to have a lot of fun raising money and awareness for my DMD, the number-one genetic killer of children in the world.

I'm no Prince of Bel-Air, that's for sure, but I do have a pretty sick "throne," and I'm pumped to be among a group of elite TED Fellows. I recently signed a record deal, and you can find my raps on iTunes under "Big Daddy Weems."


Fun facts

Favorite meal:
Hot wings

A funny story about me:
I am known for accepting a bet from my friends for $10 to eat a spoonful of wasabi, which I call "Goslabi." I thought it was guacamole or something, so I ate the whole thing. Wow, that stuff is hot and definitely clears your sinuses. This bet became one of the most hilarious scenes in my documentary, and now school kids all over the world raise money for DMD research by eating a spoonful of the hot stuff!


Vital Stats

Fellows Class
TED2009
Languages
-
Living in
Athens, United States
Working in
Athens, United States
Born in
Athens, United States
Gender
Male

Contact

Twitter
@DariusGoesWest
Websites
www.dariusgoeswest.org
Blog
www.dariusgoeswest.org/blog/

Fellows I Am Collaborating With