unity for the ALS challenge

Zeba Haseeb

Perspectives Editor


Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

Thousands of videos have been uploaded on the Internet of people throwing buckets of ice water over their heads. Why? The ALS ice bucket challenge has swept not only the whole nation, but also the entire world. The ALS disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons are used to send messages from the brain, to the spinal cord, and eventually to our muscles in our body. This disease causes the death of motor neurons and so the ability to move becomes impossible leading to complete paralysis and eventually death (ALS association). The ALS association helps raise money for research to find a cure for this horrendous disease.

Recently, the ALS association decided to find a new way to raise money by creating the “ice bucket challenge”. Basically, a person has to either pour a bucket of ice water on their heads or donate a hundred dollars to the ALS foundation. The person, who has been nominated to do the ice bucket challenge, must also nominate three more people to do the same. Videos from all around the world starting pouring in and the ALS association also started to post them on their website to encourage more people to take part in raising awareness. Many celebrities also took part in the challenge such as Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Carrie Underwood, Dwayne Johnson, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. A celebrity being involved always catches people’s eyes, so yes the number of people donating to ALS increased tremendously.

For the past month every social media site has been swarming with hashtags of ALS challenge or YouTube videos of people dumping ice water on his or her head. The voice of the people all around the world has been heard by everyone and brings great unity between all nations fighting for one cause. According to CBS news, the ALS association has raised up to $22.9 million dollars in just a matter of three weeks. This is a huge difference from last year where they made a little over $1 million. This just proves that social media today has been a prime component in this generation’s lives. As much as we complain about the negatives of a social media, it can also do great good if used correctly.

Unfortunately, there has been some negative feedback with this ice bucket challenge. Many memes have been created on social media sites mocking the challenge. They have made it quite clear that this challenge is encouraging one to waste water. The amount of water used to the millions of people taking part in the challenge does add up so that can become a bigger issue in the future. But the accomplishment to celebrate here is that the ALS did a successful job raising awareness on this disease and there’s plenty more money coming their way!