Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why I Took The Challenge

     By now most everyone has heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  If not, it basically started as a challenge for people to either donate money to the ALS Association or dump a bucket of ice cold water on their heads.  It has since evolved into more of donate money to ALS and dump a bucket of ice cold water over your head to raise awareness for the cause.  Now, usually I don't participate in what's trending or even pay attention to it, but then I happened to click on the video of George W. Bush's Ice Bucket Challenge, and I decided to google ALS.  I had never heard of ALS, but I have heard of Lou Gehrig's Disease, which is the same thing.  This is a horrible disease in which the patient slowly and progressively loses motor neurons and with it, the ability to move parts of their bodies.  There is no cure right now, and according to the ALS website,, there is only one drug  that has been approved by the FDA to slow the progression of this disease.  The whole reason behind raising awareness and donating to this foundation is to raise the funds for further research so that maybe one day there will be a drug that slows the progression enough to extend these individuals' life by years instead of months.  Or maybe one day we will even be able to find a cure for this degenerative, debilitating disease.

     Since this challenge's main way of spreading has been social media, it's almost expected that there would be negativity.  There's always someone out there who doesn't get it, or doesn't know all the facts, and wants to make a mockery of a cause.  This is just a sad fact of our society today.  And yeah, there are those out there who have taken the Ice Bucket Challenge without a clue as to what it's about or why they're throwing a bucket of ice over each other's heads, but I truly believe those types of people are in the minority.  The more videos of these challenges that get posted, the more likely someone is going to think, "What is this all about?" and head over to Google to find out what ALS is, and why they should donate.  I did, and maybe others will too.  And to those who say that you don't have to pour a bucket of ice water over your head to donate to charity, that's not the point.  You also don't have to dress all in pink and run a 5K.  There's no need to walk/run 5 km along a path marked with names of family, friends, and strangers who can no longer remember who you are or who they are.  You also don't have to wear wristbands with the emblem of a soldier carrying his wounded buddy to safety.  But if you do, if you dress in pink to run, or make note of all those names that line that 5K, or show off your Wounded Warrior Project bracelet, or even dump a bucket of cold ice water over your head, someone is going to want to know why.  They're going to ask, "What's that all about?", and that's the point.  That's what this is all about: bringing awareness to a plight that had once been in the shadows, and that is now in the limelight, getting the recognition and the funds they need to do something about it.

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