DHS Administration accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to help aid in Cancer Research. (Photo by: Gabriella Webster)
DHS Administration accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to help aid in Cancer Research.

Photo by: Gabriella Webster

Broncos take on Ice Bucket Challenge

August 21, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge flooded social media over the summer, as people around the world–including North Korea–doused themselves in debilitatingly cold ice water and posted the results on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The concept was simple: when nominated, one chose to accept the challenge or donate a minimum of $100 to the ALS Association–though many who accepted the challenge also chose to donate–and nominate somebody else. As a result, the challenge and awareness of ALS spread exponentially, and the overwhelming amount of social media posts and donations made to the ALS Association proves it. In the month that the challenge drowned the internet, the ALS Association received $100 million from three million donors. Last year over the same time period, they raised a mere $2.8 million.

Considered one of the “most viral philanthropic social-media campaigns in history,” by Time.com, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge made a splash as a way to raise awareness and money to find a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease, casually known as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that directly attacks the nervous system by a progressive deterioration of motor neurons, which eliminates the brain’s ability to control muscles in the body, and eventually results in paralysis and death.

The rarity of this fatal neurological condition has kept it out of the spotlight for decades, however, since the development of the Ice Bucket Challenge, millions of dollars have been raised to support people living with ALS, encourage awareness of ALS personally and politically, and find a cure for this terrifying disease.

As the visibility of ALS increased and the challenge reached more and more people around the world, an outpouring support of the ALS Association encourages research and development in a field previously stalled by a severe lack of funds, and sheds a whole new light on this devastating condition. Most importantly, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has demonstrated how powerful the human race is when it becomes passionate about something, or maybe when it is staring hundreds of expecting social media followers in the face.

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