Taking the Plunge


The Ice Bucket Challenge sweeps social media in honor of ALS

A quick scroll through any Instagram or Facebook news feed tells the tale. Teens, their parents and even celebrities are participating in the Internet phenomenon sweeping the nation: the Ice Bucket Challenge.

The challenge requires that the participant dumps a bucket of ice and water on their head and nominate three or more friends to take the challenge within 24 hours. But, what is the point of this seemingly insignificant challenge?

It all started in Sarasota, Fla. with a golfer named Chris Kennedy, who was nominated by a friend to pour a bucket of ice over his head and donate money to a charity of his choice. Kennedy took the plunge and donated his share to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in honor of a relative suffering from the disease. The disease quickly attacks nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord until motor skills are lost leaving the affected unable to move freely or form speech.

From this, the internet sensation spread mainly in support of ALS and became known as the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.”

“We had a family friend that passed away from ALS, and he touched a lot of people’s lives” sophomore Issy Wallis said.

Wallis took the challenge and dunked the freezing water on her head, but her participation didn’t stop there. She also donated to ALS research.

“Everyone should definitely do it and not be afraid,” Wallis said. “But, they should also donate so we can find a cure for this terrible disease.”

As the challenge spreads across the nation, the ALS research fund has jumped approximately $23 million from 2013’s $1.9 million fund. This unprecedented recognition of ALS and increase in funds makes the possibility for a life-saving drug or treatment much higher. All it takes is a simple donation and a little cold water.

To learn more or to donate to ALS research visit www.alsa.org.

Written By: Rebecca Carroll