The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been going on for a few weeks now, and to date, has raised more than $1.7 million dollars and international awareness of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, has skyrocketed!
For those who aren’t familiar with ALS, the ALS Association offers this brief description of the disease on their website – “ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. 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.”
With the joy of a successful fundraising campaign going viral also comes great backlash. There is no shortage of disparaging comments to go along with the great cheers for those raising funds for ALS and other charities of their choice this summer. Many aren’t happy to see water being so carelessly tossed around and the spotlight being taken away from other charitable organizations.
To be perfectly honest, I have enjoyed watching many, many videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in particular Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Shemar Moore, Aerosmith, Kate Hudson, Susan Sarandon and Tom Hiddleston to name a few. I’ve also enjoyed seeing several of my friends take part as well. It has been a welcome relief after the shocking news of the death of comedic genius Robin Williams last month. I needed the silliness and laughter.
In the true international fashion of today’s social media, I was nominated for the #ALSIceBucketChallenge by my friend Steve in England. I accepted – my daughter and my niece were thrilled to be armed with buckets of ice and water to douse me! I chose to stand in a vegetable garden so the water we used would also help our veggies grow. I used the challenge to donate to ALS, as well as some local animal rescue groups in California that I am familiar with and support, Treasured Tails Canine Rescue, and Precious Paws. I also donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in support of mental health awareness. I encourage everyone to donate to these organizations. Whether it’s a monetary donation, your time or needed supplies these charities or others in your area will appreciate your efforts to make your community a better place!
I nominated my friend Doug in California, my friend, guitarist Tim Farriss of the Australian band INXS and singer Billy Idol (who has a new album and autobiography out this autumn but we’ll get to that in another post!). We look forward to seeing your videos guys!
Here’s my video below