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#ALSIceBucketChallenge – An Almost Rant

This post started as a rant in my head. Well, actually it was 6am and after taking Arya out, I tried to go back to sleep, but my mind wouldn’t let me. I was in the middle of a Facebook argument with someone who was ranting about how the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a gimmick and people are just doing the video for attention, how it’s a waste of water and how California is in a drought and how children in Africa don’t have water…and so forth.

While I feel like everyone should have a platform to rant (I, of course, created my own – welcome to any new readers), it irks me when people who rant just for the sake of hearing their own voices and especially spewing negativity on things that are positive. But, this post is me holding my tongue for the sake of drawing the attention to ALS, the real reason that your social media feed seems devoid of cat videos and “What Desert Cactus Are You?” quizzes lately.

ALS – stands for a big long medical term that I cannot pronounce (If you must know it, it is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Discovered in the 1860′s, people did not become aware of it until the 1930′s when famed baseball player, Lou Gehrig was diagnosed and since then, it is more widely known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” I heard about ALS because I had a friend whose brother died from it. Each year, he would do a 1000 mile bike ride fundraiser in memory of his brother. Earlier this year,  I also wrote a few articles about a photographer that was diagnosed with ALS. It is a horrible disease where your brain stops sending signals to your muscles through the motor neurons and slowly, the body becomes paralyzed. Patients usually have about 3-5 years after diagnosis to live.

The Ice Bucket Challenge, in case you have been hiding under a rock, is where people throw a bucket of ice water over their heads and donate $10 to an ALS organization, or refuse the challenge and donate $100. The ALS association has seen a 1000% increase in donations due to this challenge. So say what you want to, this challenge is raising awareness to a terrible disease.

I promised no ranting, so I will just post the video of us doing the challenge. And by us, even Goliath got in on the action – though we used warm water on him, because we aren’t a*holes. At work, we wanted to honor a fellow photographer who was diagnosed at age 26. He lost his grandmother to ALS and is taking care of his mother who has ALS. His story is going viral. It couldn’t have happened to a better person, so please take a moment and read Anthony Carbajal’s story here.

But for those who have objections, I’d be happy to chat with you about your concerns – from stem cell research to waste of water during a drought. Just write them in the comments below, but the bottom line is, would you have those same concerns if you or a loved one was slowly becoming trapped in their own body and you had to watch as they withered away? I think not.

This provided an opportunity for me to talk to the Kidlet about compassion, helping people we don’t know, ALS, philanthropy and humanitarianism. As parents we need to raise a new generation of people to care about others and do their part, however little or big, to help others. The challenge gave me a perfect and fun opportunity to do so.

Let’s encourage positivity in this world. It’s already filled with so much hate.

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