Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Extremely Viral, Raises Over $15.6M For ALS Association
You might have seen celebrities posting videos in which they were pouring a bucket full of ice water over them and wondered why they were doing it. Well, it is known as “Ice Bucket Challenge,” and it is used to raise awareness about ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and to donate money for ALS association.
ALS attacks nerve cells that result in total paralysis, but the mind remains sharp. About 30,000 Americans now have ALS disease. The life expectancy is about two to five years after the time of diagnosis.
The donation goes to ALS association in U.S. with a purpose that the money will be used to research for the cure of the disease. In U.K., the donations go to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Ice Bucket Challenge has been around since winter when it was not used for any specific purpose but for donations.
The challenge got a purpose for ALS when Pete Frates, a 29-year-old former college baseball player, learned about the challenge from his friend Pat Quinn, who also has ALS. He then wanted to turn this trend into a fund-raiser for ALS and posted a video on Facebook asking some friends to do the Ice Bucket Challenge to support his cause.
However, Frates didn’t actually perform the Ice Bucket Challenge stating that “ice water and ALS are a bad mix,” instead he bounced his head to the song “Ice Ice Baby” — a song from 1989 by the rapper Vanilla Ice.
Frates was diagnosed with ALS two years ago. Since then we have seen a number of celebrities from different areas doing the challenge and nominating other celebrities. Some of the celebrities include Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, The Rock, Robert Downey Jr., Justin Bieber and Chris Pratt.
How it works? A celebrity would do the challenge, post the video and ask another celebrity to either do the same or donate some amount to some charity usually ALS, mostly do both. For example, Mark Zuckerberg named Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey named Steven Spielberg and so on.
The involvement of big names has surely raised awareness about ALS while ALS association has managed to raise over $15.6 million.
“The story right now goes: You’ve got ALS, have it for a little while, a long while, but either way, the end is always the same. ALS always wins. So in order to rewrite the end of it, we need to raise awareness, money,” said Mr. Frates.