The first video of the ALS #IceBucketChallenge I saw on FB was of a young girl in a bikini, standing in her dark bathroom, pouring cold water over her head and then tagging her four friends to do the same or else donate $100 to the charity. In her comment box there were her friends who were against this idea of accepting her challenge.
I found it strange that people would do such silly things to raise funds in this way for the cause as serious as ALS.
Just then I read another friend’s status that read “Hit yourself on the head with a cast-iron bucket it to raise awareness about stupidity. Welcome to the #KickBucket challenge.”
It seemed stupidity to me too. What was this challenge and what was a big deal. I posted on my wall “What is the big challenge? Indian do have ice cold bucket bath everyday”
As the day progressed, my FB time line was getting flooded with many such videos of known people accepting #IceBucketChallenge. It was going viral. In the trending column, it showed that donations to the A.L.S. Association, a Washington-based nonprofit that funds global research to find treatments and a cure for the disease, had surged since the challenge started trending in late July. The group said Thursday morning that it had received $41.8 million in donations from July 29 until Aug. 21.
$41.8millions raised for challenge of ice cold bath?
“NO, people. do NOT post pictures of yourselves in bathrooms with a bucket, wet from a bath. NOBODY wants to see you that way, and it is NOT what the ice water bucket challenge is all about.” Screamed the status of yet another friend.
Was it a joke that people were enjoying? And why were educated people on my FB list doing it too? Another friend wrote:
In conversation with my niece, it finally began to make sense. She told me about her 30years old friend (she knew in Bangalore) who was suffering from this illness. She said that he had two small kids and he had very little time to live.
"Stop calling ice bucket challenge 'stupid' or 'useless' because it is not. Yes the water is getting somewhat wasted but it is more of an investment than wastage... Get your facts rather than criticizing every damn thing!!!"
When the disease strike some one close, a person we may know, we begin to feel its weight. We understand the seriousness of this disease.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND), Charcot disease, and, in the United States, Lou Gehrig's disease—is a neurodegenerative disease with various causes. It is characterized by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, difficulty in speaking (dysarthria), swallowing (dysphagia), and breathing (dyspnea). ALS is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases.
One moment, a person is leading a very normal life, enjoying a game of basketball, and next moment he feels heaviness in his feet. He stumbles and falls, then experiences awkwardness when walking or running. Over the time, he starts experiencing difficulty in moving, swallowing, speaking or forming words. His muscles begin to tighten and there is exaggerated reflexes including an overactive gag reflex. Difficulty in chewing and swallowing makes eating very difficult and increases the risk of choking or of aspirating food into lungs. In later stages of the disease, aspiration pneumonia can develop, and maintain a healthy weight can become significant problem that may require the insertion of a feeding tube,
Although his mind remains sharp, ALS, that attacks his nerve cells, can ultimately lead to paralysis. Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis.
The exact cause is not understood and there is no cure or treatment that can stop or reverse the disease. There is need to find a proper drug to cure the person from this disease.
I finally began to understand the seriousness of this disease and the importance of doing research. By ALS #IceBucketChallenge, a lot of awareness has been spread, by tagging people on social media, a united chain has been created and people are donating happily for this cause.
And all things said and done, there is humor behind this serious cause.