From your next-door neighbor to Jimmy Fallon's late-night show, people across the nation are taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness for the neurodegenerative disease.
...Stands for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Each year, nearly 5,600 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS, about 30,000 Americans are living with it today. Due to its affects on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, patients living with ALS lose the brain ability to initaite movement and control to their muscles. Eventually, patients with ALS experience complete loss of muscle movement and end up being paralyzed. Though there is no cure or treatment for ALS, recent years have shown progress is trying to understand what causes the disease and one FDA approved drug, Riluzole, has shown to slow down the progression. ALS can stike anyone as it has not been proven to strike any one race, ethnicity or age group.
Ice Bucket Challenge
...Two weeks ago, Pete Frates posted a video on Facebook that took the internet by storm and went viral across all social media platforms. A former college basball player, Frates was diagnosed with ALS. Since he could not take challenge himeself he instead nominated his friends to do so, and thus the phenomenon had begun. Now, across the country, athletes, celebrities, families and institutions are filling up buckets of ice cold water and taking the challange. Since July 29, in less than a month, 13.3 million dollars have been raised in donations comapred to the 1.7 million that was raised last year in the same time period. Amazing. Though the challenge does have its critics, with more than a million videos posted to FB and more than 2 million posts on Twitter, it's raised awaeness and money, all Frates had asked for.
...I was gratefully nominated by my best friend, Alex Stephan and I had never been so excited to be drenched in ice cold water. If I can't be a doctor or researcher, I can be a contributor and supporter by taking on this challenge and spreading awareness. Enjoy :)