Join Metal Ninja Studios in the fight against Intracranial Hypertension!

What is I.H.?

Intracranial Hypertension (I.H.) is a chronic neurological disorder in which the level of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure has generally risen and remains elevated over a sustained period of time. It is frequently a life-long condition with significant physical and emotional tolls.

The three most common symptoms of I.H. are severe headache, visual changes due to swollen optic nerves (papilledema), and a whooshing noise in one or both of the ears.

Information gathered from the IHR Foundation

Why is Metal Ninja Studios combatting I.H.?

"My parents are taking me to the hospital. I couldn't make it to work today because I couldn't tell which streetlight was real."

Joel Rodriguez, MNS CEO, sat alone in his hotel room in Tampa, FL, helpless and over an hour and a half away from home as his wife and the love of his life told him about her agonizing experience. He wanted nothing more than to get in his car, speed home, find her, and hug her pain away, but he knew it wasn't possible. He was too far away. She was in intense pain. She was scared, seeing double, and she needed help now.

I still remember that 2019 day like it was yesterday. I was at my day job in Tampa, Florida when I got the call. Christina had been mentioning vision issues for a while, but it didn't seem like anything too severe. That day, however, it got to be too much and she needed a trip to the E.R. I have never felt so helpless in my entire life. She needed me, but it was physically impossible for me to get there in time. Luckily, her parents were there and took her to the E.R., where they performed two nearly unbearable lumbar punctures in an attempt to ease her symptoms.

After her E.R. visit, she underwent a plethora of exams and was diagnosed with something called Pseurotumor Cerebri, which we later learned was another name for Intracranial Hypertension. It quickly became apparent how little was known about her condition. Neurologists, unfamiliar with I.H., asked if "she was seeing two of an image," as if she didn't know what seeing double meant.

Eventually, we found a pair of doctors who had a deeper understanding of I.H. and, through their support, we learned of several other resources to help us understand her condition. That understanding came with the realization of a few unfortunate truths:

- Truth 1: She would have to take daily medication to keep the pressure at bay, likely with ever increasing doses as her body develops a tolerance over her lifetime.

- Truth 2: If the medication ever failed, or she developed too much of a tolerance, the next step is surgically placing a shunt to drain the fluid. Although it could be helpful for a time, shunts are known to fail.

- Truth 3: There is no cure and the condition is so rare that the small sample size means research into finding one is a long and slow process.

Eventually, we learned about the I.H.R. Foundation and the work they are doing to study I.H. and find a cure. I wasn't able to help back then, but now I can use the platform I've built to raise awareness and help fund their research.

We aren't helpless anymore. There's no cure, yet, but with your help, we may be able to get closer to finding one.

- Joel Rodriguez

How are we combatting I.H.?

Metal Ninja Studios is raising money to donate to the I.H.R Foundation. The Intracranial Hypertension Research Foundation is the only non-profit organization in the world devoted to supporting the medical research of chronic intracranial hypertension. Their mission is to discover why intracranial hypertension happens, along with new and effective therapies to treat the disorder and, ultimately, to find a cure.

Click the button below to visit their site and learn more about the I.H.R Foundation.

Learn more

What are we doing to raise funds to donate?

We are dedicated to raising funds to finance a cure for I.H., but one family can only do so much. Joel decided to leverage two of his passions to fund another. He is tapping into his love of the comics community and fitness to raise awareness and help the I.H.R. Foundation find a cure!

  • 4x4x48 Run Challenge - July 13-15, 2023

    Joel Rodriguez is going to complete the 4x4x48 challenge between the 13th and the 15th of July, 2023. Facing a challenge originally created by retired Navy SEAL David Goggins, he is going to run four (4) miles every four (4) hours for forty-eight (48) hours. In total, Joel is going to fight through two full days of back-to-back runs with little more than 3 hours of rest separating them. He will endure two full nights of sleep deprivation and exhaustion in an attempt to spread awareness of I.H. and the work that the I.H.R. Foundation is doing.

    During the challenge, Joel will be posting regular updates via Facebook Live video to answer questions and bring more awareness to the event. Follow along HERE.

  • The I.H. Charity Collection

    Metal Ninja Studios has teamed up with award-winning cartoonist and graphic designer Steve Conley to develop a merch line dedicated to raising awareness for I.H. while also raising money for the I.H.R. Foundation.

    Featuring artwork of the Metal Ninja "trampling" I.H., you can proudly wear and use every item in this collection knowing your purchase not only shines a spotlight on this rare condition but directly funds the research and work done by the I.H.R. Foundation.

    100% of all net profits will be donated to the I.H.R Foundation.

    1. (Net Profits include all funds raised less the costs of manufacturing and shipping.)

4x4x48 Charity run video updates

Joel will post regular video updates during the challenge. Check back often to see the most recent update below:

How can you help?

We have set up three easy options for anyone who wants to join our cause and help the I.H.R. Foundation find a cure. You can do any one option, or all of them, whichever works best for you!

Option 1 - Donate Directly

Enter a dollar amount below and add the "item" to your cart. Proceed through the checkout process to complete your donation. 100% of funds donated directly will be transfered to the I.H.R. Foundation.

This option is ideal for anyone wanting to support the cause directly.


Help support I.H. Research!

Your support will help raise awareness and fund research for Intracranial Hypertension!

Enter Amount

United States Dollar | $USD

Option 2 - Shop the I.H. Charity Collection

Purchase any of the items below to show your support and help spread awareness of the I.H. Challenge! Your purchase will be shining a much-needed light on this life-altering condition!

100% of all net profits will be donated directly to the I.H.R. Foundation.

This option is ideal for anyone wanting to support directly and help raise awareness.

Option 3 - Share this page

Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and a simple share can help this message spread like wildfire. Every share will help more people learn about the struggles of I.H. and the I.H.R. Foundation's work.

This option is ideal for anyone wanting help raise awareness.