Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge

Don't worry, there will be no video of me chucking a bucket of iced water over my head in this post. I know some people are fed up of it already. I'm not, I'm happy to watch video after video of people doing this, I've seen some amazing ones done on building sites, but my favourite so far is Will Smith. Nothing spectacular, I just enjoyed it.

So what's it all about?

Basically, it's a challenge. You pour a bucket of iced water over your head and donate to charity, then nominate others to do the same. I guess it's a lot better than that previous drinking challenge!

Is it for ALS or Macmillan?

This is where it all gets a bit sticky. The challenge was started by former UNF golfer Chris Kennedy, who did it for his wife's cousin who had been battling ALS for eleven years. It just took off as an internet phenomenon as everyone was taking up the challenge and raising money and which I believe is just as important, awareness for ALS.

ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is knows as Motor Neurone Disease in the UK. It's a terrifying disease that affects the brain and spinal cord causing a progressive muscular atrophy. One of the most heartbreaking ice bucket challenges I've seen was by Anthony Carbajal who has recently discovered that he has ALS, his mother is already completely disabled my the illness and so was his grandmother. The charity that supports ALS needs to raise much needed funds to research treatment for the sufferers, it also needs to raise awareness of the disease.

Then Macmillan saw the challenge and admit that they jumped on the bandwagon. Many people in the UK are doing the challenge for the Macmillan charity and raising funds for them. Macmillan say that so far they have raised enough money to fund six Macmillan nurses for a year, which is great news for cancer patients.
They have also received some stick for taking away the focus from ALS/MND.

Where Do I Stand? 

Well, I probably won't be standing under a bucket of iced water anytime soon. I'm not a killjoy and I do support charity, it's just that this has all left me feeling a little confused to say the least.

I'm a big supporter of Macmillan. I donate regularly to their charity and know people who have had use of their nurses, including my own mother, although it was only for a short time. I appreciate that they need to raise funds and if they see a way of doing it then they should definitely go for it. What I feel bad about is that they have taken away the spotlight from ALS/MND

I had not heard of ALS, but I had heard of MND but had to do some research to find out more. I know how difficult it is to raise awareness for illnesses that are not common which makes it difficult to raise funds for much needed research to help those that are suffering. This is what the charities are for and it must be amazing when they suddenly find they are getting loads of support from a simple but viral challenge. I don't believe that charities should compete with each other, they should work alongside each other. Macmillan should have allowed ALS/MND to keep the limelight on this one.

Macmillan claim it was their supporters who wanted to take part in the challenge and that they needed to listen to help boost their much needed funds.

I'm not sure really what to make of it all. what do you think?


  1. I totally agree with you on this one.. besides right at the moment Macmillan are in the public eye with their coffee mornings.. Funny enough I was thinking of blogging about this last night but hadnt got around to it..

    Ann (always confused as it never lets me comment with my wordpress thing lol

    1. I've just read your post Ann and it's great...I think that should we should promote...have a coffee morning for Macmillan but reach for the ice bucket for MND/ALS

  2. Anne this is so very true.
    ALSO/MND need all the support they can get, and macmillan should hold their heads in shame for this. Them if all people should know it's all about awareness, and getting people talking about it. Well they have achieved the latter, but in the wrong manner.
    Charities should never compete with each other, they should help each other, they are afterall after one thing.

  3. Yes I thought this too. Especially as a lot of videos don't say either way why they are doing it.

    1. I think it's those that annoy me the most...Why do it if you have no idea why you are doing it? Plus there are those saying they are doing the ALS ice bucket challenge and donating to Macmillan, there is so much confusion about.

  4. I was also a bit shocked to see Macmillan step in on this. I am due to have a bucket tipped on me when the rain stops, oh joy, but I'll be doing it for MND even though I have no connection to that charity and obviously do have a stronger one to another. But it would seem wrong to me to not let MND have this much needed funding as a smaller charity x

    1. I think we probably understand a little more than others when we are involved in uncommon conditions, the awareness is just as important as the money. x

  5. Well said Anne, totally agree with you about charities working together. You have also cleared up the mystery for me as the people who are posting videos (including some of my own FB friend) are promoting the fun aspect without showcasing the actual point of it all! xx

    1. Thank you Allie, and yes people are missing the point xx


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