I am completely overwhelmed by the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I just heard about it for the first time yesterday from my mother-in-law (Tim’s mom) who was here for a visit. After she went back to her hotel for the night, I checked my facebook only to find four videos of friends doing the challenge. Three of them specifically dedicated their ice bath to Tim and proceeded to challenge other friends and family members that would understand ALS through their connection to Tim.
Today, I have watched at least three more friends get coldly wet in the effort to raise awareness and research dollars for ALS.
I have read several articles in which the Ice Bucket Challenge has been challenged. Some think this is just a way for the up and coming generation to feel good about their social activism. Another article highlighted what’s wrong with most mainline ALS research (it’s based on embryonic stem cell research). My reaction to it all is this: if you have personally walked an ALS journey with someone, you will know that it doesn’t really matter how “gimmicky” this ice bucket challenge is, it’s raising money for research!!
According to the ALSA website, there is usually about $2 million available yearly for ALS research. This gimmick fundraising idea has already produced almost $30 million for research!!! $30 million!!! With that amount of money, real research can be done.
That’s the intellectual side of my response. The emotional side says this: I am completely overwhelmed by the fact that people are doing something silly, COLD, and a little weird because they loved Tim and miss him. He would be shaking his head wondering, “What are these people thinking?!?” He’s been gone for over a year and a half, and yet he has not been forgotten. A friend of mine that never even met him dumped an entire cooler full of ice water on herself – and dedicated it to him!
When will my eyes be dry again?
So – thank you to all who have done the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge themselves – and if you are nominated by someone, PLEASE do this wacky, weird thing and donate just $10 to alsa.org. Be sure to nominate others that have been impacted by ALS. They will get it, they will do it, and they will pass it on to others that get it and will do it. And in your video, be sure to name the person you are honoring. It will mean far more than your $10 donation ever could!