This is the video I needed to see in the midst of all this ice bucket hoo-ha.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that the ice bucket challenge has created awareness for ALS, and also for the money that has been raised as a result of its becoming a viral meme. But here’s the thing about “awareness”: I didn’t really become aware of what ALS was, just that it existed and was bad. I’m sure I’m not the only one who didn’t immediately go and look up what ALS really was and watch videos of people who were dealing with it.
I’d never really seen anybody suffering from ALS before. I’d heard of the effects it had on the body. I knew that it was commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. But to see somebody who was living with it—and in some way, accepting it and showing the world what their condition was like—was heartbreaking.
I have a friend whose father passed away from ALS. She has made many direct pleas to people on Facebook asking that they put down the stupid ice buckets and just donate their money. Her tone has been anguished, even angry. I thought she was overreacting. I felt that the benefits of the money being donated to the cause outweighed the silliness and vanity of the ice bucket challenge. This video made me completely rethink my opinion of her. I can’t imagine the immense pain and suffering that my friend, her father, and the rest of her family went through because of this terrible disease.
All I can donate is $5. It may not be a lot, but I hope it helps.