If you haven’t heard of this craze that’s been taking the web and nearly every social media site by storm, then you must be living under a rock!
Hundreds of people have been taking this challenge to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”
Here is a link to some famous people who have taken the challenge and made the NBC News “Nine Must-Watch Ice Bucket Challenge Completions”: http://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/viral/nine-must-watch-ice-bucket-challenge-completions-n184231
What is ALS?
According to the ALS Association, ALS is “a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the 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.”
There is, however, great news, as the scientific research that’s being done shows some promise in a new drug that’s been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that has been shown to “modestly slow the progression of ALS.”
What’s the Point of the Challenge?
The ice bucket challenge was originally started in order to raise money for a charity of choice, and participants were asked to either donate $100 or dump ice water on their heads.
The challenge really took off when Pete Frates, and his family, helped make the challenge go viral in order to promote ALS awareness. Pete is a former Division 1 college athlete with Boston College Baseball and has battled ALS since he was diagnosed in 2012.
So far, this campaign has raised over $41 million (and counting) as a result of this challenge, which is considerably more than what it normally raises during the timeframe that this challenge has been running.
With so many people taking the challenge but not understanding what the guidelines are, we thought we’d outline the rules for you:
- Be Challenged: Someone challenges you, along with two other people, through a video that they’ve posted after being challenged by someone else.
- Accept the Challenge: Once you’ve been challenged, you have 24 hours to respond in one of two ways.
- Pay $100: If you don’t want to dump the ice water on your head, you donate $100 instead.
- Dump Ice Water on Your Head: If you don’t want to pay the $100, you dump the ice water on your head, but—and this is important—you still have to donate to ALSA, but you don’t have to donate the suggested $100.
(NOTE: Most people who have accepted the ice bucket challenge have also donated $100 to the cause, but this is entirely optional).
- Prepare: you will need:
- a bucket
- water (preferably cold)
- something to record the event with
- a change of clothes (optional)
- towel (optional)
- Film the Event: When you film the event, it is recommended that it be as short as possible, and you must include the following information:
- your name
- who challenged you
- what you are doing (“I accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”)
- three more people you’re nominating to take the challenge
- whether you will be donating money as well as taking the ice bucket challenge
- Make your donation at the ALSA.org website.
- Upload Your Video: You can upload your video to Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, or Twitter. Remember to tag the three people you’ve nominated so they’ll know about the challenge, and be sure to mention the ALSA and the Ice Bucket Challenge somewhere in your post.
That’s it! Now that you have all the rules, are you ready to take the ice bucket challenge?
Come play with us!
Jim and Laurie Prendergast