When I was nominated on Instagram (by someone I haven’t spoken to in three years) to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I groaned. It was a Sunday morning, the second to last day of summer break, and the last thing I wanted to do was pour a bucket of ice water over my head and post the video on social media. I spent the morning worrying about when I would do the challenge, who would film it, what I would wear, blah blah blah. Then I went to a friend’s pool party where, coincidentally, a few others had also been nominated. We were already in bathing suits, so we used a cooler of ice to fill buckets of warm water and filmed each other completing the challenge. It ended up being a lot of fun, with everyone gathering around to watch and laugh when each person squealed from the cold.
I realized afterwards that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is not something to dread or worry over. It is a silly task that takes about five minutes total to prep, film, and upload. When I did it on a whim at the party, I couldn’t take myself too seriously- in fact I was laughing in the video. I didn’t worry about what I wore or said or looked like. I ended up really glad that I had been nominated, because I had a lot of fun doing the challenge and I made some funny memories. Plus, I helped raise awareness about ALS, and how could I regret that? This challenged helped me let loose and learn a little bit about “don’t sweat the small stuff”. For that, I am grateful.
The rules as I understand them are simple: if nominated, you must complete the challenge and post it within 24 hours. If you refuse the challenge, it is requested that you donate money to an ALS foundation of your choice. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness about ALS.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (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. (Source: alsa.org)
I think the Ice Bucket Challenge is a great idea, and many people I know have done it. According to the ALS Association, this challenge has been wildly successful in the U.S. so far, raising over 10 million dollars. Well over 300,000 videos of the Ice Bucket Challenge have been uploaded to Instagram. Many prominent people have done this challenge, including Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, and Ethel Kennedy. Even Justin Bieber completed the challenge… twice! President Obama declined the challenge, instead pledging a donation. Either way, awareness about ALS is being made and donations will provide massive funding for ALS research. To this, I say bravo.