Have you taken the challenge? The Ice Bucket Challenge is sweeping the nation, striking all social media platforms to help raise awareness on ALS. The challenge involves getting drenched with a bucket of ice and water on video, posting that video across all social media outlets, and challenging others to do the same, all to raise awareness on ALS. Some people are requiring that if you refuse to take the challenge, to instead make a donation to the ALS foundation. Any contribution is welcome; it’s the thought that counts. This viral sensation has attracted millions of followers, not because of self-exposure, but because of compassion in the hearts of these people; there is strength in numbers. These people are standing up fully armored, ready to take on the battle and enact change.
According to Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association: “We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humor that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impactful viral initiative.”
The Ice Bucket Challenge is not all about monetary donations; it’s the visibility that ALS is receiving. Public awareness is important to help the public understand what ALS is, and get them engaged to help fight this deadly disease. As of today, donations have reached $22.9 Million to The ALS Association.
The ALS Association was “established in 1985, and is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy, while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.”
According to The ALS Association, ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. ALS short for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
Are you driven to become part of something more challenging? Are you ready to bring your talents, expertise and resources together to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges? Different things motivate everyone, whether it’s the story, the end result, or the satisfaction of giving to something greater. This Ice Bucket Viral sensation just shows the strength in every community worldwide, “small acts when multiplied by millions, can transform the world.”
If we can raise the same amount of awareness that everyone did for ALS, imagine what could be done for all diseases worldwide—are you ready to be a world-changer?