The #ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Today, August 25th, Ice Bucket Donations Reached $79.7 Million
Up until now ASL has been like the shy, nerdy kid in the High School largely overshadowed by the more popular diseases: the cancers, heart disease and AIDS. Since ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease affects only a relatively small amount of people compared to the big “C” in all its horrible variations and mutations, it is no wonder that ALS has been overlooked in the fight for funding, awareness and donations.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should stop giving money to research and treatment for cancer, but if we are continuing with the teen rom com analogy it was about time for the little guy to take the spotlight. And then came the Ice Bucket Challenge that has caught on like wildfire and clogged your news and social media feeds the past three or four weeks. ALS took off its glasses, shook out it’s hair and finally got a date for the prom. And then instead of getting drunk and losing its virginity at the prom, ALS did what every parent wishes their kid would do instead; threw a bucket of ice cold water in everyone’s face.
Who Started the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?
Former Presidents, pretty much every celebrities and one Muppet has taken the challenge, and I bet you are no more than one or two degrees from someone who has taken it as well. The Ice Bucket Challenge is not a new phenomenon, it has made cameos here and there hoping to raise money for different worthy causes, but this time it really took off. And this time it was ALS at the helm. All it took was one guy, Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. It was his friends and celebrities (including NFL quarterback Tom Brady) who got everyone else involved and well, you’ve seen the rest.
Until a month ago, shockingly few knew about Lou Gehrig’s disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and how it affects at least 30,000 Americans today. It is a horrible disease that affects the nervous system and leads to total paralysis and life expectancy once diagnosed is typically two to five years. No one knows the cause of this disease and there is no cure, let alone treatment to help prevent, reverse or slow down the disease. The $80 million and counting at the time of this blog is a big win for historically underfunded ALS and a big win for those of us who enjoy watching our favorite celebrities get doused with a bucket of ice cold water.
Donate to ALS research
Don’t just sit there watching, GIVE!!!
The challenges is still going strong, but before you get sucked into watching your celebrity crushes take part in a universal wet t-shirt contest, remember that this is all about raising money for a good cause and if you enjoy watching all of these videos then you can say thank you with a well-deserved donation to ALS. As successful as this campaign has been for ALS, the videos circulating on the web have been viewed hundreds of million times, so if you look at it in terms of viewing numbers the $50 million + is a drop in the bucket compared to what could be raised if everyone who enjoyed watching people participate would just donate as well. So, grab your wallet and donate. Every dollar counts.
If you could choose just one video to watch to learn about ALS, this is our pick, watch it on our feature above or click here: Anthony Carvajal, 26. This is the bravest, most challenging, moving video we found on ALS awareness, and yes, it’s includes ice… Watch it all… You can also donate to Anthony and his family directly.
ALS in a Nutshell
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
(Source: The ALS Association). Also visit the ALS Therapy Development Institute for more info and ways to help.