Unless you have been living in a cave, you cannot fail to have noticed a spate of videos of billionaire business moguls, sportsmen and even former American Presidents tipping buckets of freezing water over themselves. Hopefully the message does not get lost within the streams of celebrities taking part.
The action is aimed at raising money for research into ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a form of motor neurone disease) and in the UK to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Macmillan Cancer Support.
But braving freezing water is not enough - a small donation is also expected and so far #icebucketchallenge has raised more than £60 million for the charities.
After an icy soaking the participant then nominates two or
three further people to undertake the challenge within 24 hours. Those who forfeit the challenge must donate a larger sum of money.
Well, the Ice Bucket Challenge snowballed, and with its gathering size and pace I was hoping to admirably watch it pass with a wave of good fortune to those it swept up in its path. Sadly, I currently sit at the computer shivering with cold wet hair after the snowball took a detour and sucked me in!
The success of the challenge as a fundraising venture is unquestionable: my initial disappointment at being nominated was quickly overcome when I realized the undeniably positive effect this viral has had on the fundraising efforts of the charities involved. Having always known of the disease by name, prior to the Ice Bucket Challenge I knew little about its effects. The increased level of awareness about the impact this disease can have has also been very positive.
One of our Coaches, Craig Barker, knows more than most about the effect this disease can have, as his Mother was sadly diagnosed with MND a few months ago. Craig spoke to us about the impact the #icebucketchallenge has had on awareness about MND:
‘My mum was unexpectedly diagnosed with this disease in February 2013 and her life today has changed beyond recongnition. MND effects how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. The strength my Mum displays every day is amazing, she continues to fight even though her quality of life has been reduced. Words can’t describe how sad it makes me feel to see MND take its grip on her. Today, she is no longer able to speak and is confined to a wheelchair and is completely dependent on others to help her.
I am so proud to see so many people taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge; MND is a disease that isn’t widely known, however to watch celebrities and people I admire participate in the challenge, can only help raise awareness of this awful disease. I myself have joined the craze and have completed the challenge, I encourage everyone to experience the sensation of the ice temporarily affecting the nervous system making the user feel numb, this is something MND sufferers feel daily as their nerve cells weaken and the disease takes hold.’