Unless you’ve been hiding beneath a social media-free rock over the past few weeks, you’ve seen videos of people – regular Joes and celebrities alike – dousing themselves in ice cold water. Heck, you might have even taken part in these actions. So is there some sort of heat wave causing this outbreak of sudden ice showers lately? Nope: it’s just people being charitable, raising funds and spreading awareness for a disease that has taken too many peoples’ lives.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, affectionately hashtagged as #ALSIceBucketChallenge, is an event where the participant either douses themselves with a bucket of ice water or donates $100 to the ALS Association in hopes of finding a cure (or both….preferably both). The participant then nominates three friends to partake in the challenge. While this all seems fun, several people are questioning the point, and it’s really quite simple.
Unless ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, as the disease took the life of the legendary Yankees first baseman at only 37 years old) has directly affected your life, it’s likely you know a mere overview about it, if anything. Briefly, it is a neurological degenerative disease which destroys a patient’s ability to control their muscles. This is fatal, as a person can no longer breathe by themselves. This article posted on Yahoo! does a great job of providing a synopsis of the disease and some big players in the challenge.
So we’re learning, and we’re getting freezing and wet for a good cause, and we’re raising the donations made to find a cure to the disease by millions based on the funding from last year. As we have seen, several NHL players have taken to this challenge. Some stay low key, like Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos…
..and some make it a “holy crap!” production, like free agent fourth-liner Paul Bissonnette.
As a fan of the sport, and a fan of fundraising opportunities, I’m so proud to see athletes participating in this challenge. There’s no telling what difference even one star player (or star anchor) could make by simply hiring a helicopter to dump glacier water on them atop the Rockies – or, you know, dumping a bucket of water with cheap ice – over their head and challenging not only their colleagues, but also the general public, to open their eyes to a disease that might have otherwise gone silent. Kudos to these guys, and kudos to all of those out there who have participated.
You can learn more about the disease and the charity at the ALS Association page here."Thoughts on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge",