The Ice Bucket Challenge has been a brilliant success. It has raised over $50 million dollars for the ALS Association. While the goal of the Challenge is to raise money and create awareness for this horrible disease, it has also appealed to our sense of fun and friendly competition. Watching videos of friends and family accepting the challenge and seeing new and unique ways people are choosing to get doused with cold water has been fun! But the posts and videos I have appreciated the most are those that create awareness about the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and those that create awareness about Paying It Forward.
Here at the Good Luck Grill we consider our customers to be our community. Recently, two people in our community have been diagnosed with ALS. That is pretty amazing when you consider that 5,600 people throughout the U.S are diagnosed with ALS per year or two people per 100,000. We are saddened by this news but happy that the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised so much awareness about this horrible disease. Hopefully, that will lead to medical advancements to slow and ultimately eradicate the disease.
Just what is ALS? (taken from www.alsa.org)
ALS was first discovered in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
What will I take away from the Ice Bucket Challenge?
Through the social media firestorm, The Ice Bucket Challenge I am reminded there are lots of people in this world that have big hearts and want to and will come together for a worthy cause. I appreciate their spirit.
I say thanks every day to the world around me for all the generosities, kindnesses, and opportunities that have been afforded to my family and me. I do not stand alone in this world and I have a tremendous network of friends, family and supporters who have helped me achieve me goals. Many thanks to them!
So I say all of this to say… “Challenge It Forward”! We never know when we are going to be the one in need. We all have someone in our lives who have been especially kind to us, or have experienced a random act of kindness, or have a friend or family member who has or is fighting the good fight through a medical condition/experience that we wouldn’t wish on our own worst enemy. Honor this person today! Make a donation or volunteer your time to the ALS Association or your own favorite charitable organization. The two charities at the top of my list are the Travis 4-H Scholarship Fund, and local community libraries such as the Pflugerville Community Library and the Manor Library. While these are my standbys, I’m thrilled to be making a donation to the ALS Foundation in honor of our Good Luck Grill community members Gay Lindgren and Terrell Hamann. Challenge it Forward! Who are you going to help today?