ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: I did it and challenged my 5-year-old son. He did it! I also challenged Randy Wertz and Kyle Adkins…did they do it????
The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has lit social media on fire, raising both money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis better known as ALS and commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. About 30,000 Americans now have the disease, which attacks nerve cells and ultimately leads to total paralysis, though the mind remains sharp. Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis.
The stunt goes like this: People make a video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads, post it on Facebook, or other social media sites, and then challenge friends to do the same within 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS. (Many do both as was the case in my household.)
People have shared more than 1.5 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and Aug. 20 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.6 million times on Twitter. Donations to the ALS Association have spiked. A rep I spoke with at the association said it had received around $30 million in donations compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. She said there were about 270,000 new donors.
There has also been controversy associated with the fundraiser. Some people say it is insensitive, others say participants only do it for personal acclaim while others claim it doesn’t do enough to raise awareness of ALS it only raises awareness of the actual challenge.
I disagree, I was familiar with ALS prior to the challenge but my 5-year-old wasn’t. The challenge provided an opportunity to help him understand what ALS is – as much as a 5-year-old can understand a terrible disease. Prior to the Ice Bucket Challenge, I had never donated to the ALS Association and based on the fundraising success I’m not alone as a first time donor. ALS is a devastating disease and anything that can help fund finding a cure and raising awareness is worthwhile.
A bucket full of ice water is REALLY COLD!!!!!!!!!