The Ice Bucket Challenge – Raising Awareness for ALS

ice-bucket-challengeThe “Ice Bucket Challenge” is sweeping the nation and since first getting started, more than $13 million has been raised, money that will go toward further research and developing treatments for ALS. Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after Henry Louis “Lou” Gehrig, an American baseball player who spent 17 years with the New York Yankees and was forced to retire in 1939 after developing the disease, is also referred to as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

ALS is an extremely progressive neurodegenerative disease whereby nerve cells within the brain and spinal cord are affected. People who develop this disease deteriorate quickly, starting with immobility and ultimately death. According to the latest statistics, approximately 5,000 people in the United States alone are diagnosed with ALS annually with an estimated 30,000 having it at any given time.

In an effort to raise not only awareness but also money, hundreds of celebrities and non-celebrities alike have accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge, which involves being doused with a bucket of ice and cold water. As a result, more than $13 million has been raised so far. The only stipulation is that from the time of being nominated, people have just 24 hours to be doused or they are required to pay $100 toward an ALS charity.

The list of celebrities and high-profile individuals who have graciously accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness is staggering. For example, some of the most notable names include J. J. Abrams, Dwayne Johnson, Lebron James, Tom Postak, Ed Sheeran, Kobe Bryant, Meredith Vieira, Emmy Rossum, Travis Barker, Martha Stewart, Conan O’Brien, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Ethel Kennedy, Adam Levine, Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Robert Downey, Jr. Oprah Winfrey, and the list goes on and on.

Other unique participants of the Ice Bucket Challenge included all of the Rockettes and the entire team of the New England Patriots, New York Mets, New York Islanders, and New York Jets. Among the latest and wackiest group to get involved is Emblem3, which took the challenge completely naked.

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