If you are on social media, you have probably heard about the #IceBucketChallenge benefitting ALS. Yesterdy one of my friends called me out and challenged me to take part in this fundraising phenomonon, and I gladly accepted.
In 2013 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I was fortunate to have state of the art health care facilities, cutting edge treatments and doctors that were second to none. From the moment that I sat down for the initial consultation I knew that I was in good hands. The doctors assured me they would be able to remove the cancer and that I would not lose my life to it. Time after time, every one of them told me about the extensive research that was being done in the field of Breast Cancer. There were studies for this type, funding for that, and I was even involved in a clinical trial myself. Tens of millions are private and public dollars are given to Breast Cancer research on a yearly basis. During the month of October you can find pink ribbons everywhere. They are on many products that we purchase at the grocery store, you see them on the lapels of survivors and of course there are lots of Breast Cancer walks going on across the nation. May people gave to a cause that affected me, long before I was diagnosed and for that I am grateful.
When do we hear about ALS? Where are the pretty ribbons? Where are the celebrity spokespersons? How do we know which products support ALS? Do we even know what ALS is? ALS is a degenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. Though the side effects can be managed, there is currently no cure for ALS and most patients die within 2-5 years after being diagnosed. It takes money for research and to bring awareness to this life altering disesase. According to The Fiscal Times, $15.6 million dollars have been raised for the ALS Association from the #IceBucketChallenge alone since July 29 of this year. Since the #IceBucketChallenge has gone global, I'm sure that many more millions of dollars will be finding their way to the ALS Association.
Many people wait until an illness or disease strikes their family to get involved with the cause. No matter what your contribution is big or small, money or time, PLEASE take the time today and get in involved. Check ALAS.org for information on how you can make a difference to help #StrikeOutALS .