Adam Levine, Ansel Elgort and Emmy Rossum have all taken the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness about the terrible disease ALS. Now, by all means, take the challenge — but please also make a donation to help find a cure.
Jimmy Fallon’s ALS Challenge & More: You Should Join Celebs But Also Donate
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is the underdog of diseases. Most people have never heard of it, or if they have, they know very little about how it robs victims of their ability to walk, talk, eat, and eventually, breathe.
Today, sadly there is no cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and only one drug that can slightly slow the progression of the disease. That’s why it’s so important to make a donation to the ALS Association, which will funnel your dollars into research for a cure. By all means, have fun taking the shocking ice cold challenge and posting a video of your freezing experience for all your friends to see — but don’t forget what this phenomenon is really about.
It’s about saving the lives of vital people who become victims of this terrible disease. In fact, the Ice Bucket Challenge was the idea of Pete Frates, just 29, who has been suffering from the disease for two years and can no longer walk or speak. He is a former Boston College baseball captain who has devoted himself to bravely battling the disease and to raising awareness about it, so that research funds can be raised.
In a heartbreaking video posted on the Pete Frates Fund homepage, the courageous Pete shows what it’s like to be a 29-year-old former athlete who now must be fed, have his teeth brushed and be picked up out of bed, by his brother Andrew. He explains in halting speech (today he can no longer speak) how a diagnosis of ALS carries very little hope: “ALS always wins.”
But he also explains that while his body is weak, his mind is sharper than ever, his memory is better than it’s ever been. Because there are so many things he can’t do, he spends even more time thinking and observing.
Thankfully Pete has amazing support from his loving family. His brother Andrew quit his job and moved home to care for Pete. And Pete married his beautiful wife, Julie, in 2013, one year after his diagnosis. She is now wonderfully expecting their first child.
When you watch Pete struggle to speak and think about what he is losing at such a young age — all of his physical functions — then you have to be impressed that he has bravely started this ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
But I hope that in addition to pouring water over your head, you’ll also click on this link to the ALS Association and make a monetary donation — even if it’s small.
Since the Ice Bucket Challenge began, $4 million has been raised, which is thrilling to ALS experts, and no doubt to Pete, who was doused by an ice bucket himself recently. Will you take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, HollywoodLifers? Let me know.
— Bonnie Fuller
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