By Chris Devadatta
I never thought I’d be “one of them:” a participant in ALS Association’s ice bucket challenge.
ALS Association is a non-profit organization fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease affects the nerves, typically of 40-70 year olds, diminishing their ability to eat, speak, walk, and eventually breathe. Fatality rate is 100 percent with only one drug that is currently approved by the FDA.
The ice bucket challenge helps ALS find a cure. People taking it on have two options: donate to ALS Association or dump a bucket of ice cold water on themselves and nominate three friends. They must also videotape themselves and post to social media.
Ridiculous premise? Perhaps. Some say we should just donate and not waste our time with dumping water. However, the results are substantial. From July 29 to August 12, $4 million has been raised, compared to $1.12 million this time last year.
Additionally, ALS has gained 70,000 new donors. Big name contestants include Justin Timberlake, Matt Lauer, and Martha Stewart.
Takeaway? Even if most people don’t donate, awareness cannot be erased.
ALS President Barb Newshouse said, “people who have never heard of ALS are now engaged in the fight to find treatments and a cure for ALS.”
With increased visibility, ALS’ mission is more known, meaning more potential contributions.