The ice bucket challenge was instigated by former basketball coach, Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (A.L.S.) last year. Majoring in communication, Frates’s incredible ability to influence has raised great awareness and money for the A.L.S. Association, highlighting that passion pays off.
This viral craze took over our Facebook pages; the creative endeavour of some of my friends was startling. Worthy of note is the individual who drenched themselves using the water from the North Sea. Another participant performed a questionable dance wearing very little fabric where it is most essential, which brings me to say: as well as raising over a hundred million dollars to support patients and fund research – overt twice the amount the amount raised in the same period last year – the ice bucket challenge also made us aware of the controversial yet entertaining measures some of our friends would take to prove they have ‘done their bit,’ foregrounding the current world affairs with some light and humanitarian spirit.
The challenge was not beneath the fashion queen Donatella Versace, nor the former US president George Bush, but I donated, refusing to be the victim of ice and bucket. We must remember that just because people aren’t throwing buckets of ice-water over their heads to raise money for tuberculosis or malaria – both curable illnesses whose treatment requires just a portion of the costs it takes to treat someone with A.L.S. – these diseases are still affecting more people; we lose around a hundred thousand to A.L.S., compared to the five hundred thousand lost to malaria and a million to TB.
In our busy lives, everyone benefits from being reminded of the one thing that unites us – compassion. When clicking that button to donate, I picture the change our collective support can potentially bring: the possibility of this condition, which has no effective treatment and no known cure, to be a condition that will merely be a chapter in someone’s life they can look back on.