By now you probably know about the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” But since we’re still seeing some people who are confused on our newsfeeds, let’s just talk it through.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is all about raising awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. About 30,000 people in the United States have this degenerative disease, which attacks nerve cells and leaves sufferers without the ability to control their muscles. The disease usually leads to total paralysis and the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis.
The challenge goes like this: Participants record a video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads, post it to a social media account such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and then nominate three more people to do the same or donate $100 to ALS instead of taking the challenge. Many choose to do both.
The campaign started as a small fundraising technique and turned into a viral online sensation, with everyone from LeBron James to Mark Zuckerberg participating.
Even though there are skeptics, the numbers don’t lie. The ALS Association said on Monday that it has received more than $15 million in donations. That’s a lot for a disease that typically doesn’t get much attention. Only 2 in 100,000 Americans have ALS, which means that there is little incentive for pharmaceutical companies to invest money in research and development to create better treatments.
“This amount of money…it opens up new opportunities that were previously unfathomable,” Carrie Munk, the spokesperson for the ALS Association, told Forbes.
For your enjoyment, here are some of our favorite celebrity ALS Ice Bucket Challenges: