In the last week I've seen tons of videos on Facebook of people pouring buckets of ice water over their heads (or other people's heads). I've even seen celebs and other well-known people participating in this frigid challenge on TV. I quickly caught on to the fact that it's to raise awareness for ALS. It's interesting how fast fads and other challenges like this spread. I've probably seen 15 videos just on Facebook today.
Initially, I wasn't quite sure what the point of dousing yourself in a bucket of ice water was, and how that raises money for charity, so I did what I always do when I'm curious about something. I consulted Google, of course! Here's what I learned: People make a video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their head, then they upload it to a social media website and challenge their friends to do the same within 24 hours OR donate $100 for ALS research.
You might be thinking exactly what I was at first, "How is that going to raise money for ALS?" since it's clear from the number of videos going around that lots of people are opting to go the ice bucket route. As with any trend, many people are fans and others have pooh-poohed the idea. I saw this meme on Facebook earlier today:
Okay, that's a valid point. It's sad to think about how we really take clean water for granted here in America and to think about all of the waste there is when it comes this the resource. I guess people could do far worse. The ice bucket challenge has been fairly successful, though, since it has raised over $20 million this summer, not to mention tons of awareness. I guess this challenge is pretty clever after all. ;)
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is one of the cruelest diseases. Imagine one day experiencing weakening in your muscles and you slowly become paralyzed. Not only do you lose the use of your limbs, but you also lose the ability to breathe, swallow and even speak, all while your mind stays sharp and intact. It's truly like being trapped. I much rather become paralyzed in an accident since you can still live a relatively long and healthy life than to develop ALS which progresses relatively quickly (average life expectancy after diagnosis is roughly two to five years).
One final meme to end this post because it made me laugh: