Ice Bucket Challenge Raising Awareness for ALS
Lynchburg, VA — Everywhere you go online, it's there.More videos of friends, athletes, and celebrities taking the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge". It's designed to raise money and awareness for finding a cure for Lou Gehrig's Disease. But is the viral campaign actually doing that?The answer is a resounding "yes". While some criticize the Challenge as nothing more than lazy social activism, the donations speak for themselves In 2013, the challenge raised a little more than one million dollars. Through Sunday, The national ALS Association estimates more than 15 million dollars has been raised through the Challenge.Athletes, celebrities, and millions of others have been taking to the internet, and bracing for a cold shower. Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr and wife Becki took to the challenge last week, in front of the incoming freshman class. Says Falwell, "We just wanted to do our part to try to help research, and to help those that are impacted by this disease."Spearheaded by ALS patients like Peter Frates, a former college baseball player who was diagnosed three years ago, the challenge has spurned millions to take to the internet to learn more about the disease. Dr. Carl Hoegerl at Liberty University, says "ALS is a devastating disease when people first get the diagnosis.". The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is between 2-5 years.Falwell challenged the student body to continue to give above what students have already opened their wallets, and their hearts "College kids don't really have much money." Falwell says. "I think that's the best example of generosity of Liberty students."Little progress has been made towards helping ALS sufferers. Doctors like Carl Hoegerl hope that the campaign raises awareness, and helps make real progress towards finding answers, and a cure."If anything, even if they don't donate money, at least it increases the awareness, so regardless, the campaign has been a wonderful thing for ALS.