Over the summer, it seemed impossible to scroll through Facebook or Instagram news feeds without seeing videos of people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads. This act of being drenched in ice water is known as the ALS ice bucket challenge.
Although many people have accepted this challenge, very few know what they are spreading awareness for. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the New York Yankees first baseman who died of the disease, affects motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. In fully functioning bodies, motor neurons travel from the brain to the spinal cord to the muscles and allow people to control muscle movement. However, people with ALS suffer from the deterioration of motor neurons which causes them to slowly lose control of their muscles and eventually die. There is currently no cure for ALS, however, researchers hope the ice bucket challenge could help spread awareness and encourage people to donate money toward finding a cure for this fatal disease.
Many Miramonte students have taken the ice bucket challenge, and some have seized the opportunity to help spread awareness for other concerning diseases as well. Senior Josh Chen decided to shout out a disease called Rett Syndrome,a nuerological disorder which causes females to have trouble walking, speaking, and learning. In his facebook post, Chen mentioned that he has been volunteering to help patients with Rett Syndrome and challenged his peers to help donate or spread awareness about the disease.
While pouring a bucket of freezing cold ice water on yourself may not be the most fun event, many students were still able to have fun by using unique tactics to take on the challenge. While many people tried to quickly finish the challenge, senior Dylan Hoff didn’t want his ice bucket challenge video to go unrecognized. Stomping out in full snorkel gear and blue water flippers, Hoff blatantly nominated president Barack Obama before dumping a cooler full of ice water on his head. Many people jumped at the touch of the waters arctic-like temperature. However, Hoff didn’t flinch; likely because he was dressed appropriately for the occasion.