Point: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has greatly benefited the cause

Maggie Fisher, Features Editor

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For the past few months, it’s felt as if  every time I logged on to any social media I’d see one video after another of someone getting a bucket of ice dumped onto their head. Not only was it funny to watch my favorite celebrities, such as Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and friends scream as they are pummeled with ice water, it was also great to see a disease that has affected my family and friends finally get recognized by the mainstream.

When I was two years old, my cousins’ aunt, Kathy Hult, was diagnosed with  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Then, when I was a freshman in high school, the coaching director at my soccer club was diagnosed with ALS. Both of them were younger than 50 years old when they were diagnosed with this fatal, untreatable illness. Since they’ve been diagnosed, I’ve seen both of them go from walking to needing hired help while in a wheel chair.

ALS works in a terrible way. It keeps your mind intact, while it slowly shuts down your body. For Hult, this process has been occurring for 15 years.

“”It makes me so happy to see the level of caring, people saying the word ‘ALS,’ even some people pronouncing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and knowing what that is,” Hult told Kare 11.

The ALS Association started the Ice Bucket Challenge fundraiser on July 29th. It challenged people to film themselves getting a bucket of ice water poured on them and then donate to ALS. Quickly, the ball began to roll. Many people wanted to be a part of this trend as it took over the social media. Some people joined in because they thought they were being humorous or entertaining, or they thought their profile was incomplete without it. But, honestly, I don’t care why people decided to join in the challenge because not only has it raised awareness of ALS, it has dramatically increased donations.

According to Kare 11, in the time period from July 29th to August 29th, ALS received 80 million dollars. That is a 3200% increase from the same time period last year. So, I think the intentions of the participants doesn’t matter. Infact, that is part of the genius of the Ice Bucket Challenge. It makes raising awareness and donating a popular thing to do. So, if you take the Ice Bucket Challenge because you are trying to impress a boy or you want to get likes on Facebook, I don’t care. As long you are helping a cure a disease (and not harming anyone by doing it), keep doing what you’re doing.

 

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