I’ve been watching this event take place on Facebook the last couple weeks, thinking if I just keep my mouth shut and stay under the radar, no one will notice me. It worked for a while but yesterday mi amigo, Bahama Bob, threw my name out there and, staying within the rules, I am participating within 24 hours. I’ll have my challenges, too.
I realized I was fairly ignorant about ALS. I had heard of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, but didn’t know very much about it. This is what the ALS web site has to say:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” 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.
Pretty technical, but as you can see it is uncomfortable and, ultimately, fatal.
There has been some negativity regarding this fundraising effort for ALS. They have referred to it as “Slacktivism or Clicktivism”; activities that take little time and nominal effort. Still, it’s difficult to dismiss the results. Estimates of the fundraising, since the end of July, claim donations of nearly 22 million dollars compared to less than 2 million during the same period last year.
The celebrity aspect has also been overwhelming. Everyone from former President George Bush to Lady Gaga, Jennifer Anniston to Eminem, the “Justins”, Timberlake and Bieber, everyone but me, it seems, and today I correct that. BTW… Mr. Obama passed in favor of a donation. I intend to participate and donate.
Donations are the intended result. Awareness and education regarding ALS are positive bi-products of this effort. In the end… we all win. So either open your wallet or get wet. I’m doing both.