ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Raises Awareness and Controversy

By Hector Ibanez

Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the entire world by storm since the early part of summer.

From celebrities to common-folk, they have been dousing themselves with frigid cold water over their heads in the name of raising money as well as awareness of the debilitating disease of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is also most commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The sickness itself is a horrendous one. To put it simply, it begins by slowly paralyzing a person from the feet up until their entire body is unable to move. The real kicker is their mind is completely aware of what is going on. In the final stages of the illness, the victim slowly starts losing ability to breathe until they pass away.

Did I mention that there is no cure? With that in mind, ALS can be considered worse than cancer.

“ALS is a death sentence that can strike anyone at any time. It knows no gender, racial, or socioeconomic bounds. There is no therapy or treatment in the world that can help people who are diagnosed.” Said Chelsea Schwark whose loved ones has been affected. “The only thing that exists is a prescription medication that merely slows the progression of ALS, extending the patient’s life by only a few months when the life expectancy after being diagnosed is only 2-5 years as it is.”

With all that being said, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been the most effective manner to raise money and money. According the ALS Association’s official Twitter account, as of August 31, $104 million has been raised to fund research.

The way the challenge works is if an individual gets nominated, they’ll have 24 hours to either accept the challenge or donate any amount under $100 or they opt out, but contribute any amount over $100 and pass on the challenge to friends and family.

Although, a great amount of donations has been collected, challenge has its share of controversy. For example, many believe that dumping ice water on your head is a tremendous waste of liquid. Also, it angers me that some people are only doing it because they think it’s the new Harlem Shake or Gangnum Style and fail to donate to the cause. This is a legitimate fund raising opportunity for a disease that does not have an antidote.

I firmly have confidence the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, as silly and controversial as it may be, will go a long way to finding a curing for an incurable disease.

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