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If you are on social media, you have probably seen friends, politicians, athletes or celebrities recently dump a bucket of ice water over their head. This chilly "challenge" they are doing is the Striking Out ALS: Ice Bucket Challenge, and it is taking over the social media world. The task is a campaign to raise money and awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. ALS leads to muscle weakness, difficulty speaking, breathing and swallowing which eventually leads to death. There is no cure for the disease.
The Ice Bucket Challenge started with Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player. Frates was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. Last month, Frates posted a video to Facebook inviting people to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Since then, the Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral.
After people post their video of themselves using #IceBucketChallenge and #StrikeOutALS, they then nominate others to complete the challenge within 24 hours. If the nominees don’t accept the challenge, they are asked to donate to the ALS association.
Whether people accept the challenge or not, the ALS association donations have skyrocketed. According to the ALS association, between July 29 and August 12 the association and its 38 chapters have received 4 million dollars in donations compared to the 1.12 million dollars last year at this time.
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