What Everyone Should Know About the Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket ChallengeIf you’ve been on social media lately, you may have seen people participating in the ice bucket challenge. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this video. This is how most of the challenges look, the participant gives a brief overview of why they’re about to dump ice water on their head, and then they nominate three other people to take on the challenge. The nominees have 24 hours to accept the challenge and post a video of their own, or a write a check to the ALS Association.

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is more commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”. ALS is a disease that affects the nervous system and attacks the brain and spinal cord, causing involuntary muscle movement. People who have ALS normally start to show signs after age 50, but younger people can be affected by this disease.

What causes ALS?

Most likely, ALS is caused by a genetic defect. One out of every 10 people who are affected have traced their disease to an inherited defect. Other cases have unknown causes. Worldwide, ALS affects five out of every 100,000 people and has no known risk factors, other than having a family member who had ALS.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms for ALS can include:

  • Weak muscles
  • Having a hard to time breathing and swallowing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Lack of muscle control
  • Paralysis
  • Weight loss

Click here to see a full list of symptoms.

Is the ice bucket challenge really helping the cause?

According to the ALS Association, they have received over 75 million dollars in donations, compared to a little over one million donations at this time last year. The ALS Association has been updating the contribution total, daily, and it continues to grow. The ice bucket challenge has risen awareness in just a few short weeks for ALS and people across the nation are jumping on board to dump ice cold water their heads and donate funds. So keep the challenge going by nominating your friends and family to participate and donate money. Have you participated in the ice bucket challenge? Tell us about your experience below. Photo credit: Kymberly Janisch

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