Understanding ALS and the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

Understanding ALS and the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

We have seen the videos and posts in regards to the ‘Ice bucket Challenge’. While most people would think it is fun, we should take a minute of that time to put an effort into understanding why it is being done in the first place.

Through research, I found out that the ‘ALS Ice bucket challenge’ started as a mere simple ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. The rules were simple: you get nominated to do the challenge and then douse yourself in a bucket full of ice. You could either do the challenge or forfeit and donate money to your chosen charity and then also nominate other people to do the challenge. It only revolved around ALS when golfer Charles Kennedy was nominated to do the challenge by his trainer James Whatmore. In his video, he did the challenge and nominated three people – including Jeanette Senerchia whose husband Anthony has ALS – to do the challenge or donate $100 towards ALS research.

Understanding ALS and the 'Ice Bucket Challenge'

Now, for those of you who do not know what ALS is, it actually stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is also known as Lou Gherig’s disease in the United States because it took legendary baseball player Lou Gherig’s life.

Simply put, it is a neurotic disease that attacks the neurons that transmits electrical impulses from the brain to the muscles in the body. Without this, our body is completely void of any control. You won’t be able to speak, breath, swallow, eat or move. People who are diagnosed with this are usually given a life span of 5 years or so. An example of this is the great Stephen Hawking (so now you guys know what happened to him).

To continue, Jeanette Senerchia did the challenge and also donated to the non-profit organization for ALS. Having seen the video, neighbors, friends and families also did the challenge, but now pointing it towards the ALS foundation to show support for Jeanette’s husband. The videos spun out of control and in no time at all was known as the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’.

I have seen a lot of videos and many good praises about the campaign, but unfortunately there are still a lot of people taking this challenge with the wrong idea in mind. I want to borrow your time to try and explain to you why this challenge has been so successful and helpful.

In this video, you will be able to see Anthony Carbajal become emotional while explaining how much this campaign means to him. ALS runs in his family, his mom has it and now he has it too. He states that: “pharmaceutical companies can’t make money off patients who die two to five years after developing the condition, there is no reason for them to develop a better treatment.” This may be right, because as far they are concerned once ALS hits you, there’s no going back. It’s a slow and painful wait to death. Not physical pain, rather emotional pain.


Anthony Carbajal doing the Ice Bucket Challenge and sharing why he is supporting this.

I am not saying that this disease is worse than others, no. Simply put, this disease may be the worst thing to experience. You won’t be able to move at all, not even breathe by yourself. Having Cancer or Aids is painful and it is something we would not wish upon another human being, but at least they would still be able to move around and do the things they would still want to do or can do with limitations.

With ALS, once the full hit is on you, you won’t be able to do a thing at all. Cancer and Aids already have a lot of campaigns and awareness programs in order to build awareness. I think ALS should be given a chance, too. I’m pretty sure the research involved in this would be pretty costly considering it is a neurotic disease. Nonetheless, this campaign has done nothing but raise awareness and money for the research.

People say it’s a waste of time and water and that they should just donate. What some do not understand, though, is that a bucket full of water is not a waste if it goes to a charity or something that has a good outcome. It is not a waste of time because most of the people doing the videos do not only do them, but actually donate. We are not asking you to donate an equivalent of a $100, either. Any amount is fine, a single penny, centavo goes a long way when put together. We want to help raise awareness for ALS, but also raise awareness as to why the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ is being done in the first place.

Let’s admit it: if we post a video of us doing a challenge people would come and say it is a waste of time. If we just donate money and keep that to ourselves, how is that raising awareness? If we also donate and share it on Facebook, people will think we are pretentious and that we are bragging about having a good heart. People will talk either way, so the best thing to do is to show people our support in ALS.

Many celebrities in the Philippines (i.e Bogart the Explorer: Check out his epic video here) are now doing the challenge, too, so once the phenomenal challenge hits Manila on full impact let us at least have knowledge of what it is all about before going into it. If you are interested in finding out more about ALS or where you can donate, click this link.

Now, some of you may ask, why is ice used in this challenge to raise awareness? Well, read on ahead to this simple explanation as to why ice is being used.

Understanding ALS & the 'Ice Bucket Challenge'


With this, we hope that everyone will help in raising more money and awareness for ALS. Let’s help others who has ALS to be given a chance to see and experience more of this world. Have fun while doing so and remember to include something about ALS when posting.



Understanding ALS and the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’


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