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Monday, September 1, 2014

What the Ice Bucket Challenge is really about (and how to do it!)

Anthony Carbajal
Since my husband is the only one on Facebook in this family, he lets me in on all the fads going around.  That is how I first heard about the ice bucket challenge.  In the beginning, I thought it sounded like fun but after a while I'd mentally moved on.

Many people have criticized the ice bucket challenge: saying that it is wasting water or promoting slacktivism (where people feel good about themselves without actually doing anything).  I agree that probably some people do the ice bucket challenge without actually becoming aware of ALS.  

Then, my hubby sent me a link of Benedict Cumberland doing it and, of course, I had to watch that!  It was posted on the Time website and, after watching all that hotness, I decided to click on one more.  

The one titled, "The Heartbreaking Ice Bucket Video is the Best One Yet".  (<--- please click to see video)  
Little did I know how this would change my perspective about this new fad.
The video is of a 26 year old man, Anthony Carbajal, doing the ice bucket challenge.  What makes his video special is that he was diagnosed with ALS 5 months before he posts this video. His emotions in the video are all over the place, from silliness, to sadness and anger.  He is fully aware of the effects this disease will have on his life because his mother has it and his grandmother had it.

It is immediate the compassion that this man, whom I have never met, compels.  The daily struggles that he faces with his mom is heart rendering, plus you can see the fear he has, knowing full well what his life will be like in the future.  You can’t help but feel like you
wish you could do more.

So, I decided to do what the ice bucket challenge asks us to do, and become aware of ALS.  
The ALS bucket challenge started with Pete Frates, who used to be a baseball player but now suffers from ALS.  You can find out more how the ice bucket challenge began with him here.

ALS is a disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.
They symptoms are subtle at first:
Stiff or weak muscles
Slurred speech

Inability to do things simple things like turn a lock or button a button

Eventually your muscle weakness & atrophy spreads to the rest of your body and it becomes hard to:

Move your body

This happens slowly and because your mind is still working correctly, you are fully aware of what’s going on. 
You begin to feel trapped in your own body.
Many sufferers become depressed and anxious.

There is no cure for this disease and most patients die after 3 years.

So I feel that the ice bucket challenge is such a good thing because of the awareness that it has brought to the world.  Because ALS sufferers are such a small minority of people, pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to find a cure because of it's non-profitability (is that a word?? :D).
This campaign has raised money so much faster than any other campaign and people are becoming knowledgeable about this disease.  Hopefully this awareness will inspire someone to become more determined to find a 


Donate to an ALS research center within 24 hours of receiving the challenge, or pour a bucket of ice water over your head.  Or BOTH!(both is better!)  If you pour it over your head, video tape it and challenge someone else to do it, then post it to your social networks.

If you want to know where to donate to ALS, you can find a local chapter or you can go to to find a well reputed ALS research center. 

I donated through a link in one of my favorite blogs, because they are matching donations here:
Nerd Finess ALS donation matching link.

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