Ice Bucket Challenge – The Story Behind It

Paula Creamer Ice Bucket ChallengeIce Bucket Challenge is an internet sensation that has rapidly gained ground in social media. As witnessed by the countless torrents of videos done by business moguls, celebrities including politicians, taking buckets of ice then challenging three others to do the same seem like the in thing. The trickiest bit that many should know is, the bucket challenge: who initiated it, and what is its purpose? Before you get to understand the meaning and purpose of the Ice Bucket Challenge, the fact that you know it make the purpose virtually accomplished.

First of all Ice Bucket is an awareness campaign for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — ALS — popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that usually affects nerve cells in the brain as well as the spinal cord. The insidious disease begins with the muscle weakening or stiffening and then later the patient will experience wasting and paralysis of muscles around the limb and trunk. Muscles controlling speech, swallowing and breathing may also be affected.

ALS causes deterioration of motor neurons making the victim completely paralyzed and then later succumbs to the pain. Unfortunately, there are no restorative measures once a person is diagnosed, and the worst is that the average life expectancy of a patient is 2 to 5 years from onset of symptoms. The best thing to do will be to rely on Rilutek, a medicine that slows the progression of the disease by decreasing glutamate levels.

That said, despite the dreadful and fatal ALS nature, Pete Frates’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has rendered the malady the awareness it needs. For those that do not know who Pete Frates is, he is the former Boston College baseball team captain. Pete was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 27 and saw the need to create awareness, which has led to production of numerous viral videos spreading the message; hence the inception of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The Bucket Challenge initially caught media attention in the U.S on June 30, 2014. Personalities of the Morning Drive program — airs weekdays on Golf Channel, broadcasted the ALS initiated challenge live on air wearing custom t-shirts. It was soon after brought to mainstream when Matt Lauer, a television anchor, did the bucket challenge on July 15 the same year on The Today Show on NBC, which was a Greg Norman challenge to him.

On the same day Chris Kennedy, the golfer took the challenge and passed it over to his cousin Jeanette, whose husband Anthony had ALS for 11 years. Although you have to accept a challenge by a friend/colleague to either donate $100 to the ALS cause or post a video getting soaked in a bucket of ice water, many people have whole-heartedly done both. After taking the challenge, the participant will have to nominate three other peeps also to take part.

Social sites including the media have been flocked with lots of videos ranging from celebrities to the all common man’ experiencing the chilly effect of getting ice wet. From internet whiz kids such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, to presidents and ex-presidents like °barna and Bush, the Bucket Challenge is truly a raging trend.

Pop stars Rita Ora, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, amongst others have also joined the trend with Hollywood icon Tom Cruise and his director Chris McQuarrie taking up the latest challenge sustaining up to ten buckets each Sport stars have not been left out with the likes of Jose Mourinho, Lebron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Balotelli and Neymar contributing greatly to the awareness and support of the cause.

This noble cause has raised more than $50 million for ALS Association for research study. All credit going to the Bucket Challenge, the Association has received more than what it was able to achieve in the past decade. Despite the effort to create awareness, Pamela Anderson cited wastage of water as well as crowded timelines criticizing ALS Association.

The association has since acknowledged the fact that it is increasing the pace by using rodents, worms and flies to fully understand what they are working with and this will then enable them develop ALS therapies.

Ice Bucket Challenge is a cause that many are willing to support in support and in finance to ensure that the solution is found to help save lives.

Published by Robert Gomboş (48 Posts)

Robert Gomboş is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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