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ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

When I was in the US recently, I saw the video of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg pouring a bucket of ice water over his head. I did not get the point when watching the video. The next video I saw was Bill Gates who had been challenged by Mark Zuckerberg.

More and more videos of the #IceBucketChallenge came onto TV, Facebook, Twitter etc. That’s when I got curious and visited the ALSA web site.

Just what is ALS?

ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Source: ASLA web site

The #ALSIceBucketChallenge is fairly simple. If someone has been challenged by someone the person has 24 hours to accept and do the challenge and donate $10 to ALSA. If someone declines the challenge the person is asked to donate $100 to ALSA. Most challenged participants probably have donated more than $10.

But how did this ice bucket challenge kick of? I found a reference on the web site of The Telegraph.

The challenge and the videos really did go viral when the connection to Pete Frate, a 29 year old former Division 1 college athlete as the Captain of Boston College Baseball, was made. Pete Frate is one of the about 30,000 US Americans who has to live with the diagnosis of ALS.

This morning I saw another video. The guy in the video is not famous, he is not known by people around the world but he knows ALS. His Name is Anthony Carbajal.

Anthony’s family is hit hard by ALS. His grandmother was diagnosed, his mom when he was in high school and he himself was diagnosed with ALS about 5 months ago.


The ALS Association has raised over $ 41 Mio since the challenge started and hopefully the money will do good for those who have to live with ALS.

The following German part is not the translation, just my thoughts.

Bis vor kurzem habe ich weder von ALS noch von Lou Gehrig gehört. Durch die vielen Videos von Promis und anderen sehr bekannten Zeitgenossen kommt man an ALS im Internet, Fernsehen oder in der Presse nicht mehr vorbei.

Rund 30.000 US-Amerikaner sind an ALS erkrankt. Das ist eigentlich eine hohe Zahl, aber leider nicht hoch genug, damit sich Pharmakonzerne intensiv damit beschäftigen und Forschung finanzieren. Wie viele Menschen weltweit an ALS erkrankt sind, ist mir nicht bekannt.

ALS steht für Amyotrophe Lateralsklerose (Abkürzung: ALS) ist eine degenerative Erkrankung des motorischen Nervensystems. Sie wird auch Amyotrophische Lateralsklerose oder Myatrophe Lateralsklerose genannt, englisch auch Motor Neuron Disease, auch Lou-Gehrig-Syndrom oder nach dem Erstbeschreiber Jean-Martin Charcot Charcot-Krankheit.

Quelle: Wikipedia

Inzwischen hat die Challenge auch Deutschland erreicht und erste Promis haben per Video festgehalten, dass sie sich einen Kübel Eiswasser haben über den Kopf schütten lassen.

Die Idee mit der #IceBucketChallenge ist eine gute Idee! Die ALS Association konnte seit Start der Challenge schon über 41 Mio $ an Spenden einnehmen. Im gleichen Zeitraum in 2013 waren es nur etwa 2,1 Mio $.

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