If you’ve seen a video of Vin Diesel pouring a bucket of ice tubes over his head on top of a pickup truck or former president George W. Bush, Jr. being doused with water by no other than the former first lady Laura Bush, then you have seen what the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has achieved over the past few weeks.Started in July 29, 2014 by 29 year old ALS patient Peter Frates of Boston, MA as a way to raise ALS awareness among family and friends became a viral sensation. Dozens of celebrities, political figures, and athletes have now participated in the challenge and have raised over a hundred million dollars as of August 29, 2014. Notable names include Robert Downey, Jr. Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Kimmel, David Beckham, Sir Patrick Stewart, Bill Gates, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.Despite its growing popularity, there are some who think the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a complete waste of time. But is it? For starters, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has amassed a whopping three million (and counting) followers online, which makes it an effective promotional campaign for a rare and dangerous disease.
By getting enough attention, these so-called “followers” who are now up and about with regards to the challenge are being more exposed to what they need to do in order to make the campaign a success, which is to donate money to fund research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These two aspects of the challenge then become a powerful combination, something you don’t instantly see when watching all the viral videos of the challenge.
The ALS Association has managed to raise more within a month this year than the previous years in the same timeframe. The next question now is how much the ALS Association will allot for the research. Time will tell, so we will just wait and we can just write another post about it as soon as we get some information about that.
For the meantime, we can stay true to the ALS awareness campaign and arm yourself with some general knowledge about ALS.
- Lou Gehrig – ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after this famous skilled professional baseball player who lost his career to ALS.
- Stephen Hawking – A world-famous theoretical physicist who has been breaking the limitation put on by ALS for almost half a century. He is revered for his works on black holes, general relativity, and quantum gravity.
- Mao Tse Tung – Popularly known as Chairman Mao, he is regarded as the greatest Marxist-Leninist leader of his era. He is the strategist and the chairman of the Communist Party of China.
You may also take a look at ALSBeAware.com’s list of famous people with ALS.
More Facts About ALS
- ALS is a highly debilitating disease, because it attacks the nerves that control all muscle movement. When these neurons stop sending messages to the brain, a person loses his or her ability to drink and chew, walk, bend, stretch, and more. Muscles then weaken slowly until they are no longer able to function.
- Muscle spasms and feeling of weakness in the arms and legs, as well as trouble in chewing or swallowing are the initial symptoms of ALS.
- There is no specific test that allows doctors to diagnose ALS. A diagnosis is based on examining symptoms and the process of elimination.
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