Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the function of nerves and muscles in the body–and it has been getting a lot of attention lately. ALS is the “progressive degeneration of the motor neurons,” and when the motor neurons die, the “ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost,” which eventually leads to paralysis and death. ALS is 20% more common in men than women, but as one’s age increases, the incidence of ALS equalizes between the sexes. The ALS Association was established in 1985 to fight this disease by leading the way in research, care services, public education, and public policy. It was not until this year, however, that the ALS Association began to attract national social media attention with their Ice Bucket Challenge. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has exploded on social media sites and has inspired a surge of funding for this disorder.
What is the ice bucket challenge? Simple. A friend nominates you to participate in the challenge and you donate $100 to a charity funding ALS research and then film yourself dumping a bucket of ice water on your head. You, then, nominate more friends to participate in the challenge, and it continues. The ALS Association has already raised over $1.35 million in the past two weeks–a steep increase from the meager $22,000 raised in the same period last year–and the challenge is still going strong!
This awareness campaign has attracted donors young and old to answer the challenge and 89% of funds raised will go directly to research and educational programs aimed at better combating ALS for men and women. Join the challenge today!