Yes. I accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge! The entire Starpower family and I fully support the ALS Association’s mission in finding effective treatments and a cure for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. We are happy to raise awareness alongside the rest of the country in this great cause. The ALS Association helps patients and families cope with the day to day challenges of living with ALS by providing information, resources, and referrals to many sources, including a wide variety of community services. The ice bucket challenge is all in good fun and for a great cause. Now it’s your turn to spread awareness and help fight ALS! Below is more information on ALS and how you can help…
What is ALS?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” 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.
A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. “A” means no or negative. “Myo” refers to muscle, and “Trophic” means nourishment–”No muscle nourishment.” When a muscle has no nourishment, it “atrophies” or wastes away. “Lateral” identifies the areas in a person’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening (“sclerosis”) in the region.
As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look “thinner” as muscle tissue atrophies.
Here are some ways you too can spread awareness according to the ALS website:
- When doing the challenge, please use the hashtags #icebucketchallenge, #alsicebucketchallenge, and #strikeoutals.
- The ALS Association has created social media graphics for you to download and use to help spread awareness about ALS and the #icebucketchallenge. Click on an image to download a full-size version.
- The Ice Bucket Challenge may not be suitable for small children, the elderly, anyone in poor health, or animals of any kind, so please use good judgment.
- Please be thoughtful about water usage! If you’re in an area of the country or world affected by drought, repurpose the water for later use or help spread ALS awareness by becoming an ALS advocate, joining the Walk to Defeat ALS® in your community, getting involved in their fundraisers, or sharing information about this disease via social media. For more information visit www.alsa.org or make a donation at www.alsa.org/donate.
Already took the Ice Bucket Challenge? You can donate to ALS here.