Surely by now, you've seen all sorts of videos on social media of people getting buckets of ice water poured over their heads in support of ALS -- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Yet I still find people who don't understand the Ice Bucket Challenge or what it does for the ALS Association. (Hey, I'm not judging. I had to do some research myself.)
What is ALS?
ALS is a progressive disease where motor neurons in a person's body die, which prevents the brain from getting messages to the muscles.
People in early stages of ALS start with muscle weakness, and it gets progressively worse until the person is paralyzed and eventually loses the ability to breathe. (Learn more about ALS by clicking here.)
ALS is 100 percent fatal.
Its most famous victim was Lou Gehrig -- an outstanding baseball player with the New York Yankees from 1923-1939 and a member of the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame whose career and life were cut short by ALS.
Gehrig died in 1941 at the age of 37.
What is the
The object of the Ice Bucket Challenge is two-fold: raise awareness of ALS and raise money for the ALS Association.
To complete the challenge, have someone video record you as you announce your name, who challenged you, and who you nominate to complete the challenge after you do (usually 3-6 people, from what I've seen).
Then have someone pour a bucket of ice water over your head (or do it yourself).
Post the video on Facebook and/or Twitter and tag your nominees. Also use the hashtags #icebucketchallenge, #ALSicebucketchallenge and #strikeoutALS.
The people you nominate have 24 hours to complete the challenge or donate $100 to the ALS Association. Those who do complete the challenge are encouraged to donate $10. Or you can do both -- take an ice bath and donate $100 (or an amount you can afford).
Adults are doing it. Kids are doing it. Celebrities are doing it. Professional athletes are doing it. Former U.S. Presidents are doing it. Kermit the Frog did it. I did it (see below).
I've been following the progress of the Ice Bucket Challenge's donations on the ALS Association's web page about it, and the amount of money being raised for ALS research is staggering.
On August 16, the ALS Association reported that donations had topped $10 million.
On August 17, they had $13.3 million in donations.
On August 18, they hit $15.6 million.
On August 19, that total reached $22.9 million.
As of August 20, they had received $31.5 million in donations.
By comparison, the ALS Association received $1.9 million in donations over the same time period last year. They've had 637,527 new donors through this challenge and already have 15 times the money they normally receive.
Imagine all the good that can be done with $31.5 million! And that total is sure to rise as time progresses. Wouldn't it be great to live in a world without ALS?
So get your video camera or smartphone, grab a towel and a bucket, and take that Ice Bucket Challenge! Don't forget to donate to the ALS Association afterwards!
I was nominated for the #ALSIceBucketChallenge by one of my 8U youth softball players.
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