ALS ice bucket challenge a successful campaign

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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If you haven’t seen an ALS ice bucket challenge video yet, you probably will soon. 

The viral trend has become a hit for the general public and for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Justin Timberlake and many more.

Despite what some people are saying, the challenge has drastically increased the amount of donations for ALS.

The ALS Association said as of Monday, it has received $15.6 million in donations since July 29. This is eight times higher than the $1.8 million donated during the same period last year.

The association has also said August is usually the slower period for donations. Donations have come from existing donors and more than 300,000 new donors.

Initially the rules for the challengers were for challengers to video themselves pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads and post it to social media.

The challengers also are to dare others to do the same within 24 hours or to donate at least $100 to the ALS Association.

Those rules are loose, however, as many people have opted to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves and donate money to ALS.

If this were to become an annual challenge, the rules should be to either dump a bucket of ice water on your head and donate, say, at least $10, or forego the challenge and instead donate $100. Many celebrities, for instance, have taken the challenge and donated to the cause.

There is also a concern about how much water is being wasted doing this challenge. Several of the videos or posts don’t mention ALS, which is what the challenge is for.

But no matter what you think about it, we can’t deny that the viral challenge is raising funds and raising the profile for a disease a lot of people might not know about.

Approximately 3,000 Canadians live with the terminal disease, according to ALS Canada. It has no effective treatment or cure. Another 1,000 will be diagnosed this year.

Death usually follows diagnosis after two to five years.

In the United States, approximately 5,600 people are diagnosed with ALS each year, according to the ALS Association. As many as 30,000 Americans might have the disease at any time.

ALS or amyotrophic lateral schlerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a “progressive neuromuscular disease in which nerve cells die and leave voluntary muscles paralyzed,” said the ALS Canada website.

“Every day two or three Canadians die of the disease.”

The onset of the disease is muscle weakness or stiffness.

This progresses and also includes speech, swallowing and later breathing functions, according to the ALS Association. Anyone can get ALS.

ALS is a terrible disease, one of many. The ice bucket challenge is doing its part to help raise funds for continued research so that, hopefully, we can find a way to end this disease.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: ALS Association, ALS Canada

Geographic location: United States

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