ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Certainly you have heard of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge by now.  Many people have been roped into it and notable celebrities have participated including: Conan O’Brien, Larry Page, Adam Levine, Vince McMahon, and many others. But what is the ALS Ice Bucket challenge?

It is an activity which involves dumping a bucket of ice water onto one’s head or donating money to an ALS Association. A participant will post a video to social media and nominate other participants stating that they have 24 hours to either dump a bucket of ice water on their heads or donate $100 to an ALS society of their choice.

So what is ALS? ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or often known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.  Symptoms include: loss of voluntary movement, weakness and/or muscle atrophy, difficulty in chewing and swallowing, and many others. Often cognitive function and sensory nerves are left unaffected. This means that the majority of people with ALS will maintain hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. Approximately 5,600 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year. AS many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.

Some individuals think that the Ice Bucket Challenge is stupid and it is done for all the wrong reasons, but it works. The ALS Association has said that it has raised about $15.6 million as a result of the challenge, 9x more than what they would have normally raised in the same time frame. Another ALS charity, Project ALS, told the Washington post that they raised 50x more than normal. The challenge also raises awareness for the disease. Today our society is so driven by the news of other individuals and their online presence that some forget to look at regular media outlets. This challenge is sure to grab the attention of everyone in the younger generation.

So whether or not you think the ice bucket challenge is stupid, it works and has raised awareness and money for those who need it the most.

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