Thoughts on the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge

It seems everyone is doing it or talking about it. I’ve seen many good friends dump chilly buckets over themselves, and even videotaped a few of them doing it. There are people I wish I was friends with who are doing it: Kermit, Justin Trudeau, Leonardo Dicaprio.

The ALS foundation is nearing the 100 million dollar mark in donations since the ice-bucket phenomenon arose. This blows any previous fundraising goals out of the…water.

However, there are also many anti-ice-bucket challengers surfacing.

There is the issue of fresh water being “wasted”…

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There is also a video circulating of Syrians dumping dirty rubble-filled water over themselves to bring attention to their country’s devastation. Check out the full article here… http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4563032,00.html

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There is the issue of safety: four firefighters were injured in Kentucky when the aerial ladder they were using got too close to a power line. I wish you speedy recovery gentlemen- I think you may be in for a long safety meeting when you get back to the hall. That story continues here… http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4563032,00.html

Pamela Anderson is anti-ice-bucket challenge. She instead calls for the ALS foundation to stop using animals for medicinal testing. http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/563920/20140826/als-ice-bucket-challenge-pamela-anderson-ariana.htm#.U_yxM8U7tQY

Abortion opponents in the US, including leaders of the Roman Catholic clergy, have discouraged participation in the Ice Bucket Challenge because the ALS Association supports embryonic stem-cell research. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-28929892

Everyone has an opinion: from anti-slactivists to the American Department of Defense to the National Post to people actually suffering from the disease.

I love it. So many good conversations! One viral sensation and look how many topics are being exposed and debated! Depending on where you live, you have a different set of priorities. Some people have too much of one thing (water or war) while others don’t have enough (water or rights). I think it’s fabulous that so many lines of communication have been opened and are filling up my social feeds- far more interesting than my daily dose of selfies.

 

My personal struggle has been that while I support ALS victims (sometimes quite literally as a part of my job), I can’t help but partially agree with the National Post’s article on the issue. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/08/25/the-als-ice-bucket-challenge-isnt-going-anywhere-but-giving-money-to-disease-specific-charities-is-still-a-bad-idea/

A few of the points in the article are: Yes, the initiative has brought forward donations that may have never been donated otherwise, but it also is likely taking away from other foundations and charitable interests. Compared to other equally devastating medical conditions, ALS is relatively rare. Donations to the ALS foundation are not sighted to be used to help people suffering from the disease now but to research a future cure or prevention.

 

So, drum roll please, instead of donating to ALS, I’ve decided to donate to the Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation. This foundation raises money to be distributed in the Cypress Health Care region (where I currently live and work). This foundation provides resources for people who are ill or injured in my community right now (including those with ALS). Donating to this foundation guarantees that my money will make a difference in people’s lives. As a medical provider, this is my priority. (I’m also against animal testing).

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Keep the conversation going.

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