By Brianna Bellman
The Ice Bucket Challenge has called upon students from all over St. Ambrose’s campus. It has even brought people together from all over the world to help “spread the word.” Everyone from celebrities, to co-workers to role models have gritted their teeth as the cold ice water poured down on them. But what is the word? What is all the hype?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” is a disease that affects cells in the brain and spinal cord. There are multiple symptoms, but unfortunately it is difficult to diagnose. Not everyone will have the same types of symptoms, or experience the same struggles. Symptoms may affect a patient’s speech, chewing and breathing. When the breathing muscles become weak or non-existent, a permanent ventilator is necessary to keep the patient alive.
There are three different forms of ALS. Sporadic is the most common in the United States. The second type is called Familial. This is a dominate trait that is passed on genetically. Lastly is the rarest form called Guamanian. The disease was in Guam in the 1950s, but there have been no signs of exposure since then.
The rules of the Ice Bucket Challenge are as follows: Once nominated, the participants record a video of themselves. If they accepte the challenge, participants pour a bucket of ice water on their head. After taking the challenge, the participants nominate at least three other people, and then donate $10 to the ALSA. If a nominee choose not to participate in the challenge they instead must donate $100 to ALSA.
Due to the spread of social media advertisement, the donations for the ALSA are rapidly growing. As of Aug. 26, ALSA raised $88.5 million in donations.
Many Ambrose students have seen the craze on Facebook, and for those who have not seen it already on social media, it has been broadcasted on the worldwide news as well.
Senior Amber Yaddof was nominated by her roommate, as well as her cousin, to take on the Ice Bucket Challenge.
“I personally think the Ice Bucket Challenge is a good idea,” Yaddof said. “A member and volunteer at my high school passed away from ALS. Our school held fundraisers to raise money for the ALS foundation in honor of him.”
Yaddof says she also tries to donate when she can to charities and organizations to help continue future researching and development of cures.
Hannah McWaller, former SAU student, found out about the challenge from Facebook as well and agrees it is a good idea.
“Doing the challenge and putting it out there for others to see could encourage them to donate,” McWaller said. “One of my close friends mom passed away from ALS.”
McWaller says that she plans on donating to this cause as well in the near future.
Lindsey Simon, junior at SAU, was nominated by a friend in Pennsylvania. Her parents made an donation for her entire family.
“I usually donate to local charities in my neighborhood,” Simon said. “Every little bit can really make a difference.”
And the Ice Bucket Challenge is not the only way to spread awarness. The ALSA website also offers a Walk to Defeat ALS.
For more information on how to donate, or to find other ways to get involved, visit http://www.ALSA.org