As employees we wanted to do our part to help raise awareness to ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease). On Friday, August 22, 2014, we accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge and published our video online. We did this in part to honor our friend Mrs. Ellen Baker, who suffers with this disease. Mrs. Baker has been a great friend and library advocate all of her life and we are very grateful for her contributions to our success.
View the full video of our #icebucketchallenge at youtube here.
What is ALS? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often called Lou Gherig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Read more about it on the ALS website here.
Why the Ice Bucket Challenge? Dousing oneself, or having someone else douse you, with ice cold water is not a new phenomenon. There have been various cold water and ice challenges throughout years to bring awareness to a certain cause. The rules are when you have been challenged, you need to dump ice water on your head within 24 hours or pay a certain amount to research. When videoing oneself doing the challenge, you then nominate more people to do it also. This new challenge has gone viral through social media and has raised awareness and over $50 million in ALS research since it began in May 2014. It has become extremely popular because professional athletes, stars and political figures have all taken part and of course who can resist a challenge?
One of the most inspirational figures involved in the ice bucket challenge is Pete Frates, a former Boston College Baseball Captain who was diagnosed with ALS at 27 years old. He has inspired the latest challenge that has raised so much money. Don’t miss this inspirational video produced by ESPN here.
There has been some backlash with this latest craze. Of course some people have been hurt and there are some epic “fails” involved with this challenge, including people being hospitalized or penalized. But still there are other points of view and reasons to not get involved or be very careful how you donate. Many people don’t like the type of research that is being done for ALS because it involves stem cells. This site details the different types of research that are available and helps you choose an ethical or successful stem cell research institution.
If you can get involved, make sure you do your homework when donating and be careful that you don’t get hurt!