Raising awareness of HSP

Potato Pants’ is a great way to do it


Tough going in ‘Potato Pants’!

“Walking with HSP is like walking with your pants full of potatoes!” was the response that school teacher and mother Lori gave to her nine-year-old daughter when asked why she was walking so slowly and needing to rest all the time. That was a few years ago. Since then, ‘Potato Pants’ has become shorthand for HSP and is a great idea for any sort of event or initiative.

The idea has been used in schools, at sporting events, a music festival, in the local pub, at social functions and at a recent major marathon to raise both awareness and funds for HSP. Here are some examples:


* in the September 2016 issue of the UK HSP Newslink newsletter

* 2017 Vienna Marathon:

* Potato Pants – Marathon with 10Kg on the legs?


Potato Pants’ makes HSP accessible – it is our ‘ice bucket challenge’, but with one main advantage – ‘Potato Pants’ at least actually relates to the experience that HSPers have … No! We’re not saying that people who don’t have HSP can ever know what it feels like, but waddling round in awkward, bulky, heavy pants where they are slow, off-balance, and get tired quickly will hopefully cause people to stop and think that it must be pretty tough going for HSPers. Some of the biggest insights come when they take the pants off, when they realise that HSPers are stuck permanently in their ‘Potato Pants’. People can get their heads around it, and they can remember it – unlike hereditary spastic paraplegia – which is a long name and a bit scary sounding. It allows people to get involved, to participate.


Run your own ‘Potato Pants’ event
If you have been thinking that you want to do something for HSP to raise awareness and funding, email us at and we will help you with ideas, planning and resources. We have 6 pairs of one-size-fits-all ‘potato pants’ that you can borrow, as well as a banner for your event.

Float the idea with family, friends and colleagues… Make it happen!

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