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ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Last week I was nominated by my friend Tiffiny to do the Ice Bucket Challenge. I had seen the challenges making the rounds on FB and saw it come closer and closer to me but was still shocked when I got nominated.

Enjoy the laughter I invoke by me apparently not capable of talking without blinking numerous times or moving my hands and fingers in weird ways.....guess I was slightly nervous LOL And get a kick out of McKayla performing the "challenge" too, although hers had hot water with ice so by the time she dumped it, it was lukewarm LOL

If you're not familiar with the origin of the Ice Bucket Challenge, here's a good video to watch. Warning, tho, it IS about 7 minutes long.

If you're like me, you'd heard of ALS (aka Louis Gehrig's disease) before but didn't realize how many people were actually affected by it.

Here are a few facts from the ALS website:

  • It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.
  • Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year.
  • Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for fiver years and more. More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
  • About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.
  • ALS can strike anyone
  • The onset of ALS is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.

There's been a lot of backlash, opinions and controversy about the Ice Bucket Challenge. Some are saying that for some people, it's just a means of getting attention with wild and outrageous versions of the challenge; people aiming for the most epic or outlandish. I've seen some pretty crazy versions and while I get irritated at the people trying to 'one-up' or have the most epic challenge, as long as the Association receives donations, I guess it's still helping the cause.

There's also been questioning over the "rules" of the challenge. 

Some are saying that when you are challenged, you are challenged to donate, but if you can't donate, THEN you dump the ice water on your head. While others are saying that IF you do the challenge, you only donate $10 but if you DON'T do the challenge, you have to donate $100. Either way, you're dumping ice water on yourself.

I prefer the latter version. It seems cruel to me to opt to dump freezing cold water on yourself just to get out of donating just a few dollars. I'd much rather do the video challenge by dumping water AND donating. I see the challenge as being a good visual as some people tend to pay more attention to videos then words. I completed the challenge and donated $10 that very same day. (Maybe I should have technically donated $20 and had McKayla nominate 3 people herself since she participated too? LOL)

I also, personally, have some issues with how the Foundation does some of it's research but with a disease affecting so many of us, it's still a good cause to donate to AND you can dictate where your donation money ends up. The whole point of the challenge is to raise awareness of the disease and to raise donations and I believe they've succeeded in doing just that: As of Wednesday, August 27, The ALS Association has received $94.3 million in donations compared to $2.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 27).

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has also sparked challenges for other foundations and organizations and the love, awareness and donations are spreading like wildfire. The whole point of the Ice Bucket Challenge is to raise awareness. To raise donations to help find a cure or at least better treatment options and if several foundations, organizations and associations can benefit from the donations and the publicity, not to mention the countless number of people; families, moms and dads, sons and daughters that can benefit, why NOT participate and do what you can?

Have YOU completed the Ice Bucket Challenge? Not just for ALS but for another organization? I'd love to see your video! :-)


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