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?