By now, almost everyone has heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The craze has gone international and has provided a lot of laughs for onlookers, and a lot of shivers for those taking part. Once a participant has had a bucket of iced water poured over their head, they then nominate some friends to take on the challenge, who have 24 hours to complete it.
Underneath the light-hearted and fun challenge is a much deeper story, as the Ice Bucket Challenge is all done in the name of raising awareness and funds for those suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
What is ALS?
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Among other things, it affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, and is generally a disease that is passed through the family.
In the early stages of contracting ALS, patients may experience issues with their basic motor functions. For example, they may struggle to tie a shoe lace, use a phone or complete other daily tasks that were once no problem at all.
As the disease progresses, symptoms become worse. Patients can completely lose the use of their arms and legs – often becoming bound to a wheelchair and requiring the assistance of a carer. Speech may also become impaired.
Once affected by ALS, the average time left to live is around 3-5 years. People as young as their twenties have been diagnosed with the disease, although it is more common in ages 40+.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been criticised for a number of reasons; wasting water, not contributing to medical advances, and Pamela Anderson refused to take part on the grounds that she doesn’t support animal testing.
However, it’s clear that one thing the Ice Bucket Challenge has succeeding in doing is hugely raising awareness of ALS.
Prior to the arrival of the Ice Bucket Challenge, not a lot of people had heard of ALS, let alone understood what a life involves for a person suffering with the disease.
Because ALS isn’t a common disease, it wasn’t receiving the medical research and investments that is needed to treat patients. Now, ALS is experiencing its much-deserved time in the spotlight, and donations for further research are piling in as a result.
Those that take the Ice Bucket Challenge are supposed to text ‘ICED55’ to 70070 to donate £3 to the charity ALS Association. Anyone that doesn’t complete the challenge face a heavier fine, and are instructed to donate £100. Either way, the charity is receiving more money and focus than ever before and people are having fun in the process.
ReAgent’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
The Managing Director of ReAgent, Rich Hudson, was one of the many people nominated to take up the Ice Bucket Challenge.
He, of course, agreed to do the challenge and donate to ALS research, and so prepared himself for a cold soaking. Rich donned a suit for his challenge, took his place outside our factory, and a number of the staff at ReAgent reveled in the opportunity to drench the boss!
Take a look at Rich’s video and please share it to encourage more people and businesses to take on the challenge. Rich has nominated Paul Goonoo from Rippleffect, Matthew Darlington from KDE Ltd and our neighbours Aeden and Chris from Freight First.
Good luck with the challenge!
Don’t forget to donate to ALS Association by texting ‘ICED55’ to 70070 or by donating online.