Ginger’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Ginger — that’s me — did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It’s for a good cause to raise awareness and money through some fun about ALS. If you’re not familiar, here is the description of ALS from the Association’s site:

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.

Check out my video below:

I know some are probably like, “What’s this latest fad? And when will it die out? I’m so tired of social media ‘activism.'” Well, I was with you in terms of skepticism about this latest fad. But whether you think it’s showboating, narcissistic, a way for people to “pat themselves on the back” or whatever the case, you can’t deny that it’s actually worked. From the New York Times:

People have shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and Aug. 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29, according to those sites. Donations to the ALS Association have spiked. As of Sunday, the association said it had received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. It said there were about 260,000 new donors. (With a spate of celebrities and business executives joining in over the past few days and pledging contributions, that number is expected to rise.)

So yeah, it’s raised a lot of money. Plus, ALS is a killer. Over 30,000 Americans have the disease and the life expectancy is two to five years from the moment of diagnosis. This quote in particular from Peter Frates, a 29-year-old former college baseball player with the disease back in December:

“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.”

That’s chilling, no pun intended. Hopefully this ice bucket challenge will go a long way toward changing that outcome.

Jimmy Fallon

Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

If you want to donate, please follow the link to the donation page of the ALS Association here.

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