Monday, 18 August 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

I am sitting here at my table with tears at the edge of my eyes, threatening me, the small pressure on my lower eyelids warning me of that lachrymose state which will often accompany the fullness of feeling I get when I see how many people care about me, support me, and help me. Today I went to an Ice Bucket Challenge at the CBE, where I used to work, back when I could work. So many people showed up, so many donated, so many doing so much.

The Ice Bucket Challenge thing has really taken off. I see it constantly online, on Facebook and on the news, in other social media. I see it done well, with people making a real statement about fighting ALS and finding a cure. I see it done poorly, with people not even mentioning the terrible illness that underlies this icy public awareness campaign. My favourite celebrity so far has been Charlie Sheen, who pretended to dump ice water but instead dumped $10,000 over his head, all of which he publicly pledged to ALS research.

Despite all of these very public ice bucketings, it is the private ones that mean most to me. Today is a good example. My friends did not do the ice bucket challenge for TV, although it was on TV. They did not do it for publicity or for sharing on Facebook although I am sure a lot of that will happen. They did it for me, to help me and to help the ALS Society of Alberta find a cure for this execrable illness. It is thinking of them, of what they did and said, that makes my eyes fulsome.

It's happening again tomorrow. Another group lead by another friend will do the same at Associated Grocers here in Calgary. They are making a company event of it, with a staff lunch where $5.00 per meal will be donated directly to the ALS Society of Alberta. It will happen again on Thursday at an evening event where a friend of mine will do it at a social event we are attending. I suspect it will happen even more with the challenges from today, tomorrow and many other ice bucket challenges happening.

This is a temporary thing, a kind of craze sweeping the world right now. But it is more than that. Even though the ice bucket challenge will pass, the donations will not. Even though fundraising will slow down after this bulge, the awareness of ALS will last. We are taking this disease out of the shadows and into the light. As with all evils, it will not survive the light of full exposure. We will find a cure. It won't be on time for me, but it will happen.

1 comment:

  1. Love the publicity this has gotten. Sadly 4 months ago I had zero knowledge of ALS. Today, so many people will be aware! And it's not a disease that will be easily forgotten! Cheers to everyone donating in one sense or the other!