As the ice bucket challenge to strike out Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) swept my news feed, I was… Annoyed. My annoyance was multi-dimensional. One part of my annoyance was so selfish I could slap myself – why didn’t I think of some cool way to bring awareness to lupus. Martha Stewart (aw, my auto correct tried to change her name to Sewer rat) isn’t dumping ice water over her head for SLE. But mostly I was annoyed because I wanted someone to articulate to me how pouring ice water over your head instead of donating the hundred dollars is going to
strike out anything?!
And as much as I verbally hated on the ice bucket challenge, I now recognized that it comes down to raising awareness which is so critical for misunderstood diseases. But I was still annoyed. I found that I was still uneducated about a disease I knew only as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” despite watching countless people freeze their asses off for it. Did they even know what they were doing? I decided to do some research on my own because what good person who wants people to know about their disease isn’t willing to learn and become empathetic towards other diseases:
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
Website: What is ALS
So before you dump a bucket of freezing cold water over yourself, possibly taking on the challenge of hypothermia, I challenge you to research ALS first, and say one or two facts about the disease before you dump the water over your head. This will not only make you indefinitely more educated, but it will educate others too. Now, in order to watch you shrivel on the floor screaming about how cold you are, we will have to learn something first.
Good luck! Now I’m off to think of self-deprecating ways to strike out lupus:
Pee your pants for lupus- all of the cool kids are doing it.