Ah the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
That hashtag is quite literally all over the internet now. People loving it, people hating it, people not having the foggiest idea what it’s for or who it’s for or why a bunch of people they know, people they don’t know and very well known celebrities are joining in.
I got nominated this week and I’ll be quite honest with you, my initial reaction was ‘oh sweet potato pie, NO. No no no no no’. Do I really want to do it? Do I really want to clog up everyone’s timeline with yet another video of someone screeching when a bucket of ice water gets dumped over their head? Thanks a BUNCH for the nomination Alison.
And if that’s not bad enough, I’d then have nominate another three more poor souls who will probably go ‘urgh’ when they realise I’ve roped them in too.
Then my 11 year old asked me what it’s all about it. And I told him. And we both took a moment. And then I thought here’s me all ‘urgh’ about a moment of discomfort when there are people out there whose whole life is discomfort. And there’s no going back to sharing cute pet photos and funny quotes on Facebook once the Ice Bucket Challenge is over for them.
This is their moment right now. This is the few weeks/months/year/whatever when we all concentrate our gaze on them. When we all talk about ALS. And some of us donate, and some of us Google it, and some of us bite our bottom lips as David Beckham and Matt Damon stand in their back gardens and do what the rest of us are doing.
Yes there are many other charities out there who need help, yes it’s easy to get ‘charity fatigue’. But right now it’s their turn.
Then I saw this video. Silly man, grinding around in a girls bikini for 2 minutes. But keep watching until those 2 minutes are up and maybe you too will see the Ice Bucket Challenge in a new light.
“You have no idea how every single challenge makes me feel . . . lifts my spirits, lifts every single ALS patient’s spirits. You really are making a difference and we are so so so grateful.”
So I did the Ice Bucket Challenge. With my two kids. Because they wanted to know what it was all about too.
We discovered that ALS is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which in the UK is known as MND – Motor Neurone Disease. Is a progressive disease that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting.
It’s absolutely awful.
I don’t know anyone with this disease but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
And what I can do is use my voice, use the blog I love to help spread the message.
So, most importantly, here’s how to donate: Visit the MND Just Giving page, Text ICED55 followed by an amount (such as £5) to 70070 or call 01604 611860 referencing the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’.