Why I loved the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

Why I loved the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

I will be the first person to admit that I rolled my eyes at the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. Everyone was doing it, babies, kids, adults, grandparents, dogs, bears and so on. It had nothing to do with the challenge itself, but more on the aspect of it going viral.

When things go viral it becomes a broken record.
When things go viral it becomes a broken record.
When things go viral it becomes a broken record.
When things go viral it becomes a broken record.

Annoying right? Every single media outlet is consumed by whatever viral video is ‘in’ at the moment. Then other people make videos imitating the original video. Next is a wave of commenters, criticism etc. It becomes so ingrained in our heads that it’s like a reoccurring nightmare. 

So as I rolled my eyes at this so called viral video, I got called out! (The video has since been deleted otherwise I would post it here) I decided to research the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. I’ve never been big on following trends…looking at you #TBT (throw back Thursday). When I saw this (skip to 2:00 minute mark)

I felt like a complete asshole. I remember showing it to my coworker at the time and we were both teary-eyed. After that we decided to do the challenge (as we were both called out) and donate.

The Frates family from Boston, MA are the ones behind the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’. They took on a devastating underfunded disease that affected their family by raising global awareness and millions in funding. Their campaign was brilliant! Get people involved. The ice cold water that was dumped on your head was to show you what it’s like to feel paralyzed.. even if it’s for a few seconds. This is how you ask for donations! Others should take note.

Nancy Frates (mother of Peter Frates who was diagnosed) spoke at a TED Boston conference. She is fierce and her passionate speech oozes through the screen. One of the best Ted Talks I’ve watched. Take a look…

“There will be no wallowing people. We’re not looking back, we’re looking forward. What an amazing opportunity we have to change the world. I am going to change the face of this unacceptable situation of ALS. We’re gonna move the needle, and I’m gonna get it in front of philanthropist list Bill Gates.”  —- Peter Frates 

Some of the highlights

  • Nancy Frates gives a powerful TED Talk about their families journey with ALS
  • Her son is Peter Frates a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012
  • Pete (his nickname) was 27 years old at the time of diagnosis
  • Nancy states “It has been 75 years since Lou Gehrig was diagnosed and nothing has been done as far as progress” 
  • Nancy’s youngest son quit his job to be a caregiver of his older brother Pete
  • In 2014 Pete was asked to write an article in the Bleacher Report… he was completely paralyzed at this point and used his eye-gaze technology
  • The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge stated July 27th 2014
  • Pete’s roommate was the 1st person to take the Ice Bucket Challenge
  • YouTube reported over 150 countries posted videos
  • Facebook 2.5 million posted videos
  • ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised over 160 million dollars

Extra Credit

-I just love this video!
-Inspires me because of my eczema, while it doesn’t even come near the magnitude and devastation of ALS, its also extremely underfunded and has not progressed in years.
– Itch Bucket Challenge = everyone dumping poison ivy on their bare skin. This would probably be my alternative, if I had to raise awareness for eczema!

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