You’re probably seeing a lot of people doing the #IceBucketChallenge on social media for the past few weeks. The challenge has gone viral! My Facebook News Feed is flooded with it. I never thought I’d be in the middle of it until my sisters nominated me. I was actually thinking of just ignoring it but I took it as a good opportunity to spread awareness about ALS.
The challenge involves posting a video of you pouring a bucket of ice water over yourself and nominating 3 other people to do the same within 24 hours. They can either accept the challenge or make a donation to the ALS charity of their choice, or do both.
If this is the first time you’ve heard about the disease, ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
As defined in the ALS Association website:
It 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.
In simple terms, it is a disorder that affects the function of the nerves and muscles.
It commonly affects people between the ages of 40 and 70. Early symptoms often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. Life expectancy is shortened to 2-5 years from the time a person is diagnosed. However, majority live more than 3 years after diagnosis.
The cause of having ALS is not yet fully understood and there is still no cure or treatment that can stop or reverse the progression of the disease. However, there is one FDA approved drug, riluzole, that can somehow slow down the progression of ALS. Since there is basically no cure yet for ALS, it is important to manage the symptoms and use devices to help maintain independence and quality of life, as well as prolong survival.
Because of the Ice Bucket Challenge, more people are now aware of what ALS is. As of Friday, August 22, The ALS Association has received $53.3. million in donations compared to $2.2 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 21).
In an effort to help spread awareness, I’ve accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge. Ever since I was a kid, I was used to bathing in cold water because we have no heater at home. We also use a pail and dipper at home when taking a bath. So it’s like doing the Ice Bucket Challenge every morning! haha! But since we have a heater here in SG, it’s been months since I used cold water for a bath. :-S
So here’s the video of me doing the #IceBucketChallenge. Sorry, I have no bucket here so I had to improvise. 🙂
Yikes! It was really very cold! Anyway, I’d like to nominate my dear friends Julie, Eizel, and Steph. They can either do the challenge or donate any amount to www.alsa.org. 🙂 By the way, anyone can donate even if they’re not part of the challenge. Just head on to the ALS Association website and click the DONATE button. 🙂
♥ Monique ♥