The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket.

Apparently the new internet rage is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I’ve lost count of how many of these challenges showing people dousing themselves with ice water I have seen during the last few weeks. According to Wikipedia, the internet know it all resource, “The Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research. It went viral throughout social media during mid 2014.[1][2] In the United Kingdom, people also participate in the challenge for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and challenging others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.” It is a great way to raise awareness of this dreadful disease. However, it seems to me it would be more beneficial for those who take the challenge to also donate to the research being done to find a cure. Granted there may be many people who do in fact contribute financially as well as taking the challenge. And awareness has certainly been raised. I question how many who have taken the time to video themselves dumping buckets of ice water over their heads have also taken the time to actually learn about ALS and how it affects those afflicted. It almost seems as though for many it has become both a contest and a way to establish themselves as internet activists when in fact they don’t know what they are talking about.
I would encourage those who do take up the challenge to donate if they are financially able and also to learn about ALS. I don’t expect anyone to do in-depth research. But I would hope they could at least explain simple things like what it does to the body, why it is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and where the money donated goes.
Awareness may have been raised but knowledge may be taking a back seat. And while we are at it, maybe this is a good time to create challenges for other illnesses and issues such as Spina Bifida, Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, Domestic Abuse, Child Abuse, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Homelessness, and Poverty. These are also critical issues worldwide that cry out for conscious recognition and research that could lead to cures or solutions. We don’t have to pour ice water, maybe we need to just look into our own communities and see what the need is and address it with donations of money, time, or whatever else can be done to alleviate pain.

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