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Got Ice Bucket Challenged?

Updated on October 7, 2014

If you have been active in social media you may have notice the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. One report indicates that the dare started in 2012 when Peter Frates, a Boston College pitcher was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease also known as ALS.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is an advanced neurodegenerative disease that debilitates nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually all muscle control is lost and ALS eventually lead to death. Many that are diagnosed with the illness pass away within two to five years. Lou Gehrig the iconic first baseman with the New York Yankees (1923 – 1939) was diagnosed with the disease in 1939. Lou held a number of records in baseball and his celebrity brought a new awareness of ALS to the public. After Lou passed in 1941, ALS was commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Lou Gehrig hit four home runs in one game.  Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.  Lou played 2,130 consecutive games and won six World Series. He held a number of records including most Grand Slams and was a teammate and friend of Babe Ruth.
Lou Gehrig hit four home runs in one game. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. Lou played 2,130 consecutive games and won six World Series. He held a number of records including most Grand Slams and was a teammate and friend of Babe Ruth. | Source

Boston is a town known for its’ passion for sports and the members of the community have certainly done and amazing job to promote the cause and the challenge. Using social media, the Ice Bucket Challenge has moved beyond the sports world and into the entertainment and socialite sectors. Youtube videos are being added everyday featuring celebrities getting doused with ice water and then sending challenges to additional celebrities. Notables like Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, and even past President George W. Bush have supported the cause by creating Ice Bucket Challenge videos. The challenge is not restricted to celebrities. Folks are around the country are challenging each other and creating their Ice Bucket videos. A quick search query on Youtube shows close to 800,000 results. I wish I had the time go through each one and find the top 10 for this article. I suspect we’ll see additional celebrities and common folk like me joining the ranks as this social media bubble continues to expand.

Funny failed ICE BUCKET challenge attempts

If invited to the Ice Bucket Challenge would you get doused, write a check or both?

See results

Eventually, the Ice Bucket Challenge viral social media extravaganza is going to implode leaving in its wake thousands of videos, tweets and related posts. Some of the media is truly memorable and others are just common. Yep, even if you’re a top grossing celeb your IBC video could construed as common. With that being said, like any viral media event there will be a percentage of haters that will make their presence known by bashing and discrediting the magnitude of this movement. This movement that has done an amazing job of inspiring our community and feeding a culture promoting charity and caring about others.

ALS is disease that effects a very small percentage of our population. Only about 30,000 people are diagnosed with this disease. Compare that number to the estimated 2.3 million people that have multiple sclerosis or the 1.3 million people that have Parkinson’s and you may get a feel for the impact that this social media event has had on our community. It took one of the greatest baseball players of all time to bring this disease into public awareness in 1939 and 75 years later a viral social media movement has done the same.

At the time of this article, the ALS Foundation has raised over 15.6 million dollars which has been a recorded breaking number of donations for the organization. Seems like a lot, but relative to the estimated aggregate of the 335 billion dollars given to charities in 2013 this amount is only a drop in the bucket.


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