What is the Ice Bucket Challenge?


Over the last few days, I noticed that a lot of well known people have taken to the internet to partake in this ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’; including Bill Gates, Sylvester Stallone, and a variety of other celebrities. This is a thing for charity, which is all well and good as it raising awareness of a cause. But why do I think it’s stupid?

So, the Ice Bucket Challenge is to raise awareness of something called ALS. If you don’t know what it is, then here is what the ALSA website says:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

So, not a very nice thing to have. It takes away your golden years and leaves you a prisoner in your own body. The ALSA are trying to fund scientists to cure this disease. Of course, if no one know’s the horror of the disease then no one will donate any money. cue the ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE. The recently deceased Corey Griffin is credited as one of the men who have popularised the challenge. And between 2013 and 2014, the challenge has become viral and donations to Motor Neurone disease and ALS charities has increased considerably. So, the Ice Bucket challenge has done it’s job then.

Since this blog is called ‘If you Ask me’, I would like to share my opinions on the whole thing. I like the idea,  doing charity is something I heavily encourage people to do; I have been known to do much sponsored activities. However, while I like the idea I must sadly decline any challenges brought forth by my peers. I’m still going to donate money, but I am not going to get cold and wet. Do you know how dangerous cold water is. Hypothermia for example, and also the diving reflex; a reflex caused by being doused with water. People have been injured and some have died doing this challenge. I also won’t fall foul to peer pressure, who are doing it because it is ‘cool’. I will not do it for the sake of doing it either. Maybe if I am sponsored, I may do it.

So that is my take on it. And to finish this post, here is my favourite Ice Bucket Challenge video from Steve Blum; or Spike from Cowboy Bebop. It takes the time to remind people of why this IS a thing, and why you should donate money.

About the author


Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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