The Ice Bucket Craze; But what is it really all about?
By Morgan Hunter and Bria Troy
If the question was asked “How do you feel about ALS?,” a majority of people probably would not know what it is. ALS is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis mainly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a 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. Sooner or later, the motor neurons die and that causes the brain to no longer have the ability to initiate and control muscle movement. The cold hard truth is that if someone is diagnosed with ALS, they will lose that ability to move and function in everyday life on their own; becoming paralyzed and needing help from people to do things like get in and out of bed, eat, brush their teeth and so forth. All of the little things that everyone does every day that seems so simple, now become some of the most difficult things in the world.
In the summer of 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral. The Ice Bucket Challenge is when someone dumps a bucket of ice water preferably with ice cubes over their head and then nominates 3 or more people to do the same. Celebrities like Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake, and Charlie Sheen participated in the challenge. It has been recorded that over 6.1 million people have uploaded videos of themselves doing the challenge. Many people who were nominated to do the challenge either donated money to ALS or accepted the challenge; some people did both. In 2014 alone, over 10 million dollars was donated to the ALS foundation.
Many people have varying reactions to the amount of money raised for ALS. Pat Suvoy, secretary at Pierce Middle School, is an example of one of the people who it might just mean a little more to. The mother of late Bobby Suvoy, who died of ALS in 2008, had only word she could say to describe the amount of money raised: “Awesome”. One of Bobby’s doctors, Dr. Feldman, is the head researcher of a stem cell project that is using money recently donated to the ALS foundation.
When the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral, the emotions that Suvoy felt were a mix of happiness and confusion.
“Why would they pick ALS?” she wondered. “Not many people know about ALS. I didn’t know what ALS was until my son was diagnosed.”
Although, she was extremely grateful because she knew that all the money would be going towards finding a cure for this horrible disease.
In August of 2007, the lives of the Suvoy family took a dramatic toll. Bobby Suvoy, after 9 months of testing, was diagnosed with ALS.
“Being so young and having this disease was unheard of because kids just don’t get it. Bobby was one of 10 kids in the United States to be diagnosed with ALS,” said Suvoy.
After another 9 long and hard months, Bobby died in May of 2008.
Even 6 years after the tragic death of their son, the Suvoy family is still extremely involved in finding the cure for ALS. They go to dinners, walks, and last year, the Plymouth Whalers Hockey game where all the money made was donated to ALS. They also keep in contact with ALS of Michigan to keep themselves up to date on what is going on with finding the cure.
Although the Ice Bucket Challenge is no longer popular, awareness was spread. If you would like to learn more about this disease or want to donate, visit the foundation at http://www.alsa.org/donate.
“We are incredibly grateful to everyone who was willing to stand up to ALS by participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge, which created the greatest outpouring of support that our cause has ever seen. Thank you!” ALS FOUNDATION.