If I was told a month ago that a 15-second video of someone dumping ice water on their head would help change the world for the better, I’d say that is foolish. Yet, here society is, dumping ice water on its head, changing the world. Now you may wonder, how does dumping a bucket of ice water over your head aid in the research and treatment of the deadly condition known as ALS or scientifically known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? Whether you realize it or not, the first few seconds the frigid water cascades down your body, your nerves and motor skills are impaired. This mimics how ALS takes control of the body and begins to degenerate the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, therefore leaving the victim in a helpless state. Viral videos of the “Ice Bucket for ALS Challenge” have become a global phenomenon and have raised massive amounts of awareness to a disease that has been largely under the radar for years. The “challenge” states that failing to complete the challenge within 24 hours requires a $100.00 penalty for the cause. With over 2.4 million videos on Facebook alone, and 15.6 million dollars raised to date, the Ice Bucket Challenge has brought the world together in the fight against ALS.
Society may have been unaware of the number of people that ALS has affected. Yet, as you hold that freezing bucket of water above your head, you know that your efforts, although minimal, are spreading awareness. One month ago, ALS was simply a very rare disease, solely known for claiming Lou Gehrig’s brilliant career. Now, there isn’t a person on this earth who has not heard of or knows of someone that has participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. I was as skeptical as anyone about the Ice Bucket Challenge, yet after seeing the true intentions of this campaign, I too am a firm believer in this extraordinary phenomena.
Check out this video, produced by the inspirational Terri Claire, as she truly captures the motives and aspirations of the “Ice Bucket Challenge”.
-Sam Felton, Intern