Freezing for Charity: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Charity money for a deadly disease raised in a peculiar yet effective fashion.


The icy water rushes over you and you let out a yelp of surprise. You shake off the water while your friend stops the video. You upload it for all your friends to watch and pass on to others. This is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. In these past few months, countless teens have done the challenge for a worthy cause. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took the world by storm, raising over $100 million dollars and counting.

The challenge was started off as a fundraiser for diseases in general, not for ALS. People dumped ice water on their head for any disease they wished to donate to. A woman named Jeanette Senerchia did the challenge for ALS since her husband had the terminal disease. Then, more and more people she knew accepted the challenge for ALS . It became a viral challenge that has touched thousands.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a neuro-degenerative disease that attacks the nerve cells, making people extremely weak. The degeneration of the motor neurons basically strips the muscles of their strength until the person loses all motor capability.

The challenge is all around us. Every social media site we check, we’re bombarded by our relatives or the school volleyball team dumping buckets of ice water on themselves. While the majority of us can say we’ve seen or participated in the challenge, there’s only a select few who have been affected firsthand by the disease. This gives the ice bucket challenge an entirely new meaning.

According to The Flash survey from last week, only three Rocklin High School students, one being myself, have been affected by this disease in a familial manner.

Madi Christensen’s great uncle had the disease and passed away from it when she was only one year old. While Madi didn’t have a clear understanding of what was happening as an infant, Samantha Schoultz and I lost our father to ALS when I was seven.

For me, the ice bucket challenge has brought a lot of joy knowing that so much awareness is being spread about the disease. Sure, most people have heard about Lou Gehrig and his infamous speech, but no one really knew about the nuts and bolts of the disease.

“My grandma is really happy about the challenge. There is much more knowledge about the disease,” Madi said.

It may not seem like you are doing anything beneficial by dumping the water on your head and screaming, but it makes a difference. The ALS Association has never raised this much money before, so each bucket being dumped and each friend being challenged, is helping find a cure.