You know how the whole world is clamoring to take part in the #ALSIceBucketChallenge? The fad has reached our shores, and I for one have found the challenge both amusing and informative.
It has reached its goal of raising awareness of ALS among the people, and it has also raised funds to help with research for the cure. Before this challenge, I had only heard about ALS through random mentions in articles or news, but never did I find the time nor the interest in actually reading up on it.
When I saw my students’ video posts on Facebook of their challenge, I actually DID end up turning to Google to find out more about it. I’m still hazy on the details, but I know more than I did yesterday. I know that I’m thankful I don’t have it; I know that people who are diagnosed with it are going through possibly the most difficult stage in their lives; I know that these people need all the support they can get from people.
The more I looked up ALS online, the more I found out. I found articles and videos going around of people diagnosed with ALS sharing their thoughts on this whole challenge. There are some who decry it as slacktivism—people joining in for the fun of it but not really doing anything as tangible as donating money. Then there was this post about a guy who appreciated the efforts of the people.
I personally wanted in on both the fun and the campaign, so when a colleague was nominated for the challenge, we decided to nominate each other and do our part in raising awareness and funds. And wouldn’t you know it, one of our colleagues said that one of her relatives has ALS. She said that it seemed like ALS was “rampant” (I forgot the exact word she used) in the US, but it’s not as widespread here in the country. I’m hoping it’s true and it’s not just a case of non-documentation because if the latter were the case, it’d mean that they’re probably not getting any help or treatment or support.
I’m not sure why people are paying so much attention to ALS now. Some thoughts that went through my head included those that wondered if other diseases are less worthy of people’s attention. I mean why not pay attention to… chicken pox? Okay, lame example, but I hope you get my point.
Whatever the disease or ailment or syndrome people may be diagnosed with now, I hope they all find the cure or, if not, the proper support and help they need.