Authored by Michael Guerin, TeamCain
So, no doubt (unless you have been on a desert island the last few months) you are familiar with the Ice Bucket Challenge. It was started just this summer – the main social media side of it was started on Twitter by former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who has ALS. The number of people who have taken up the challenge and “challenged” others has been growing exponentially since then.
In Canada, the ALS (the disease, which is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Society (www.als.ca) has been weekly increasing its target to keep up with donations. I noticed about two weeks ago the target was $3 million – checking today (Aug 28, 2014) it was up to $10 million – and has already been surpassed in donations. In the US it is even more - over $90 million compared to about $2.7 million in the same period in 2013. The power of social media and personal connections at work.
ALS, which is impacting my family personally through my brother in law, is an insidious disease. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. Seeing the impact on speech and mobility – it is not a pleasant sight. There is no known cure.
So … my wife, daughter and I did the challenge the weekend of August 23rd. My personal bucketing can be seen on my ALS.CA page here. For those of you that know me – you get the pleasure of seeing me yelp like a little girl at the end … I tell ya, it was COLD.
The premise being the Ice Bucket Challenge (#icebucketchallenge if you are Twitter inclined) is to take the challenge and then challenge 3 other people – they have 24 hours (normally) to respond to the challenge by getting bucketed, donating, or both … after which they can then challenge 3 other people. Janna, Joachim and Bjorn – thank you for accepting my challenge to you (in some cases despite already having been challenged!)
So – take a look (for fun, to donate and help, for a little mid day giggle) at my video – then donate if you would like, or start your own challenge. Become a part of it and help out a bit. Spread the word.
I am going to post a link to this on my LinkedIn profile and as an added incentive for people to get involved: If I can get 100 people to donate (any amount will do, thank you very much) and “encourage” me to do so, I will take the IBC again at the upcoming INFOCUS conference in Denver in a public manner and do a personal donation of $500.
C’mon folks - #MakeMikeShiver!