I’ve been challenged to participate in the The Ice Bucket Challenge.
I did it.
For a few or four reasons.
One, because if doing something a little fun and whacky brings attention to ALS it is totally worth it.
Two, because raising money to find cures and preventions of horrific diseases is always a good thing.
Three, because I’ve seen ALS. And it scares me.
Many years ago I read the book A Time To Love A Time To Mourn . It is one of the few books that I remember in good detail. It has always stuck with me and I’ve never known anyone else to read it. At the time I had no idea what “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” was. That book told me, and since then I’ve learnt more. And since then, I’ve met people who have ALS.
And…. It’s because I’ve seen people with ALS. Talked to them. Met with their families. Seen what ALS does to the human body. This is why it’s important. There’s nothing funny about ALS. The very first time I met someone with ALS I stood in front of him, slightly bent forward so he could see me easily and so I could be as close to him as possible to hear him and try to understand him. I locked my legs and didn’t move for over 35 minutes. I promised him that though it wasn’t easy to understand him I would do my best and I would ask him the same question a few times to make sure I was understanding his answers. I asked if that was okay. He said yes. And we did talk. When I unlocked my legs I nearly passed out when I began to walk. I had to hold myself up against the wall. The emotion of seeing this once strong, successful family and business man being restrained against his will was something I will never forget. But there is something amazing about getting people across the world to do something a little silly and a little pointless to make a tremendous point. And to work together for a common goal. It’s what we do for cancers and heart disease, diabetes and more.
I’ll dump a bucket of ice water on myself. And I’ll donate money. Donating money alone doesn’t bring awareness or get others to collectively gather under that bucket. It’s the challenge to everyone else to care enough to spread the word. And maybe donate a little. If you can’t donate, you can still spread the word. Technically I think if you are challenged and DON’T dump the ice water on your head then you have to donate. But I think many of those accepting the challenge and passing it on are also passing on a little money.
The fourth reason is a little closer to home.
My friend’s father was diagnosed with ALS about a year and a half ago. I pass his house on my way to work every day and say a little prayer for him and his family. I don’t know him well but I know my friend. And through my friend I have been blessed by the grace of his path since his diagnosis.
I challenge everyone who does not have ALS to learn a little something about it. And take on the ice bucket challenge to spread the word.
It’s fun. It’s silly. But it sure is making a point. I challenge all of you to spread the word. Do it in a fun way by dumping ice water over yourself or in some other creative way. Anything we do to learn more and support the research is worth doing.
I challenge you.