What is the Ice Bucket Challenge?

Compare normal nerve cells and muscles with those of an ALS patient.
Compare normal nerve cells and muscles with those of an ALS patient. | Source

ALS and The Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been sweeping the nation; going viral on facebook and other popular sites. Thousands have accepted the challenge, including several celebrities. Why is almost everyone making videos of themselves pouring (or having someone else pour) buckets full of ice water over their heads?

The chilling sensation of icy water falling on top of someone temporarily mimics the numbness that a person with ALS experiences. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, affects the spinal cord and nerve cells in the brain. It is a fatal disease that gradually degenerates motor neurons, causing a decrease in muscle control. Initial symptoms include loss of speech, trouble swallowing or breathing, and muscle weakness. Patients may eventually become totally paralyzed.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has strived to bring awareness to this rare and incurable disease. Participants are challenged by others to either pour buckets full of ice water over themselves or to donate money (usually $100) to the ALS association. Many have accepted the challenge and some have opted to participate and make a donation as well.

This is one of the most viral campaigns as of late, bringing national and perhaps even global awareness to ALS. It has raised over $31 million as of August 20, 2014. These donations will go toward research in discovering new treatments and eventually finding a cure. It will also provide quality care for those affected by this disease.


Ice Bucket Challenge Video Chart
Ice Bucket Challenge Video Chart | Source

How to Participate


Upload a video of you (or you and your friends) accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge to facebook, twitter, or other social media using the hashtags, #icebucketchallenge, #alsicebucketchallenge, and #strikeoutals. This will help spread awareness of ALS. Remember to challenge your friends and family to participate.


How to Donate


If you would rather skip the ice bucket or would like to donate in addition to the challenge, you can make your donation online by clicking here: The ALS Association Donate Page.


Celebrities Accept the Ice Bucket Challenge

Justin Timberlake accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Justin Timberlake accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge. | Source
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