Ice Bucket Challenge: the reason behind the ice

Taylor Allen, Opinions Editor

The ALS ice bucket challenge has been the latest viral trend, spreading awareness and shivering bodies around the world. The gist of the ice bucket challenge is to either donate $100 to ALS research or only donate $10 along with dumping a bucket of ice water onto your head. Many people throughout our school have accepted the challenge, but very few actually know what the disease is.

According to, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a degenerative muscle disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The disease attacks the motor neurons, and slowly makes it impossible to initiate and control muscle movement by stopping the impulses sent to tell muscle fibers to move. This results in the muscles becoming weak and smaller, since they are starving from their motor impulse diet. The muscles that are affected control voluntary movements and muscle power, so any movement that you tell your brain to make you do is hindered.

Imagine a life without being able to reach for your morning cup of coffee, no matter how hard you grasp.

Imagine a life where you can’t take a deep breath of your surroundings, no matter how hard you gasp.

Imagine a life where you were unable to stop or start your muscles, no matter how hard you try.

There is no definite reason that can explain why these signals are cut off from the muscles, and there is no cure that can halt or reverse the symptoms of ALS. There are some experimental drugs, therapies, and devices that can help manage the symptoms, but the outcome is always the same. The disease ultimately leads to death.

Around 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS each year, and the life expectancy is only 2 to 5 years after diagnosis. ALS is not a biased disease, it will attack anyone at any time. There is no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic perimeters.

Individuals with ALS made the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge popular, and it is very influential in the ALS community. All of the proceeds are donated to different researches, along with services that help offer education, awareness, and care services for people that are affected with ALS.

When you dump a bucket of freezing water on your head and donate the $10 rather than $100, you are helping save the individuals who struggle daily with ALS. You are helping in the race against time for a way to stop the disease. You are making a difference.