Challenge Accepted: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge + Other Intimate & Worldwide Battles

I knew it was only a matter of time before the challenge knocked on my door.

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Friends, if you are able, do more than just throw a bucket of ice water on your head. Let this viral wave of social media activism deepen in significance and impact. Don’t get me wrong, I believe every effort counts no matter how small (I enjoyed this read: Think The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Is Stupid? You’re Wrong.) But with every effort, give it your best shot. 

It’s not about the money, although money will help. And it shouldn’t be about the novelty of the challenge, the vanity of posting a video that features just you, or because you can’t help but get on the bandwagon or be dragged along by it. 

Read up on the disease. Strike up conversations about it beyond the comments that follow someone’s recent posting of their Ice Bucket Challenge video. Check out the research being done.  Find out if there are people in your own circle of family, friends, friends of family, or family of friends that may be directly affected by ALS. 

When I told my brother yesterday that I had been nominated for the challenge, I didn’t even know how to explain what ALS was, and neither did he. Let’s change that about ALS, and while we’re on it: let’s change that about other relevant challenges and crises that humanity faces today. We should be able to talk about what’s happening – make current events matter. [Check out Breaking News that delivers reports on ongoing stories such as: the Ebola outbreak, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Ukraine & Russia’s Political Conflict, the Iraq crisis and the tension in Ferguson, MO, USA. Or Vox, that goes beyond the usual reporting to help you really understand the news in context and present circumstances. For example: Everything You Need to Know About Israel-Palestine or 16 Things About ISIS and Iraq You Need to Know.]

There are real people hurting behind these headlines. There are real people hurting from ALS and other chronic or terminal illnesses. There are real people hurting in your immediate circle of family and friends. 

Look outside your circle of worries and acknowledge the battles that other people face. Remind yourself that everyone has a story that goes much deeper than a scratch at the surface – and each story is distinct, nuanced but also never possibly singular. We’ve all got hurdles. 

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS is a disease that can affect anyone in the world – regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status. ALS attacks the nerve cells that control voluntary movement, making moving the arms, legs and face increasingly difficult over time. It is not contagious. (For more facts on ALS, read: What Is ALS. To donate, get to know more about the disease and the community fighting it: ALS Association.)

Here’s my go at the #ALSIceBucketChallenge from earlier today:

And the text I posted on Facebook with my video:

Thank you Gino Ong for nominating me for the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. I will be donating $10 to the ALS Association for their continued research. I would like to nominate Kenya Bryant, David Opoku, Rishi Mandhyan and Nina Skagerlind to take the challenge.You have 24 hours! I’ll donate another $10 for each of you that successfully completes the challenge!

Thank you Chelsea Delfin for filming and Kuya Ricky for graciously dumping the bucket over my head (despite of his fear that any one of the lawyers in my family might file a case against him…)

(Disclaimer: In the video I said that ALS affects everyone in the world, but really meant to say that it can occur anywhere and to anyone in the world. Sorry about the misrepresentation, but I was nervous about the bucket!)

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