Sunday, August 24, 2014
ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE IS PRETTY DAMN COOL
It can be silly, self-serving, and sophomoric, but the Ice Bucket challenge has become the
greatest fundraising vehicle since Milton Berle hosted the first telethon for cancer research
What started as a tiny snowball, has now become an unstoppable avalanche on social
media. Facebook, once littered with pictures of food on a plate, feet by the sea, and every
second of a newborn's life, is now smothered with videos of people getting doused with
buckets of ice and freezing water.
And you know what, it's all good, so very good.
The Ice Bucket challenge has done what so many people and fundraisers couldn't before,
no matter the celebrity, type of event, or the relentless, tireless effort that millions of
activists put in. It has raised not only awareness of ALS, the most horrific disease known
to man, but significant money for research
As of Saturday August 23, the ALS Association has received $62.5 million in donations
compared to $2.4 million during the same time period last year -- July 29 to Aug. 23.
$62.5 million dollars in less than a month! The Ice Bucket challenge is working! But of
course, there are haters out there who want to criticize it. They are the ones who author
articles to be "controversial" so they can get on a lame talk show and become "trending"
in the social media world. Some have gone so far as to say it's a waste of one of our
greatest natural resources. Pure nonsense.
Just as Pete Frates has become the face of the fight against ALS, the Ice Bucket challenge
has become a symbol of hope and a reminder of what a truly insidious disease ALS is.
Are you ever going to look at an ice bucket the same way? Can you pick one up without
thinking about ALS and the millions of victims who've fought so valiantly against a
disease that has NEVER lost?
I'm not sure why the Ice Bucket challenge has become such a phenomenon. Perhaps, it's
a moment where we can unleash the little kid in all of us and not feel bad about it. Maybe
it's the cathartic effect that comes from rinsing away the dirty grime that has built up in a
society that sometimes seems to ooze with negativity. It doesn't really matter, does it?
What does is the message and everyone except the haters seem to be getting it loud and
clear. ALS is a brutal disease. I realize cancer is bad and has destroyed so many people
and lives. But with cancer, at least a person. has a chance. With ALS, there is none. The
disease in undefeated.
I think of the moment when the doctor said to Pete Frates, "I don't know how to tell this
to a 27-year old kid, but you have ALS." It's a death sentence. There isn't really even
a drug to slow it down. A person loses everything but their mind. They have to die a slow,
painful, horrific death. I hate to be morbid. But these are the facts
I realize the Ice Bucket challenge may grow old, which happens quite easily in our
A.D.D and social media driven world. But I hope it never goes away. I hope it shows
up on the Facebook newsfeed 1,000 times a day. I hope it continues to make people
open up their wallets and donate to the ALS foundation.
It is so good, so clean, so powerful, and right, so very right. How often have we've
been able to say that about anything these days?