By Kerry Toribio
In 1869 a French neurologist named Jean-Martin Charcot who has been called “The Father of Neurology” discovered the characteristics of the fatal syndrome, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In 1939, this progressive neurodegenerative disease was brought to the nation’s attention. ALS is also associated by the name of Lou Gehrig’s disease because on June 2, 1941, Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. ALS weakens skeletal voluntary muscles in which the symptoms affect the facial muscles, speech and swallowing. The progressive degenerative disease ultimately paralyzes the body and eventually leads to death.
The ALS Association helps families and patients cope with the everyday challenges of living with the degenerative disease. One of the main purposes is to help the ALS patients and their families to live their life as full and normal as possible. The association provides information, resources and referrals to the community.
Today many people across the world are seen in social media or in city street pouring buckets of ice water on their heads to raise awareness and funds for ALS. Many children, adults and celebrities are joining together and raising awareness to fight back against a disease that doesn’t have a cure. “We have been moved beyond words by the power of one family’s ability to make such a meaningful difference in the fight against a disease that has taken too many lives. All of us at MDA are incredibly grateful to everyone who has taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and donations for ALS.” said MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) President and CEO Steven M. Derks. Although, all social media has been flooded over the past few weeks with the Ice Bucket Challenge videos the rate and total donations have rapidly risen. According to TIME, it’s been recorded that a total of $2.9 million has been received since July 29 a significant increase from last year’s s $25,000 in donations. The attention that’s being brought by all these videos on social media helps inform those who don’t know what the challenge is about.
To join MDA in fighting back against ALS take the Ice Bucket Challenge by taking a bucket of ice water, taping a video of yourself dumping the bucket over your head, post it to your social media pages and nominate someone else to do the same. Then use the hashtag #ALSIceBucketChallenge and to tag MDA when sharing on social media. ALS Association has achieved expanded awareness and support through many organizations especially through the effective interaction with the nation’s news media.