For Those That Thought The ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ Was a Waste of Time…
Do you remember the 'Ice Bucket Challenge', 2014's equivalent to Pokemon Go! where everyone and their brother accepted the challenge to allow buckets of ice water to be dumped on their heads to raise awareness of ALS.? The "craze" was called by many a joke or wasted effort. Over 17,000,000 people, including myself, took the challenge, which raised more than $115 million for the ALS Foundation.
And what did the ALS Association do with that money? $77 million of those funds went directly to research; $23 million went to patients and community services for those affected by ALS; $10 million was given to fund public and professional education; $3 million went to further foundation fundraising efforts and $2 million was used for external processing fees (i.e. processing credit and debit card donations). But what did all those donations buy?
For some, maybe a miracle.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) is a specific disorder that involves the death of neurons that control voluntary muscles. And now, the ALS Association is crediting the Ice Bucket Challenge for the discovery of a gene they say is among the most common that contribute to the progressive disease.
A portion of the donations helped fund a global effort to help find genetic drivers of the condition called Project MinE. According to the ALS Association, a paper published this week in the journal Nature Genetics announces that the Project MinE researchers have identified the NEK1 gene's connection to ALS. It says understanding the gene's role will help in developing new target therapy for ALS.
The challenge became a viral sensation in 2014, with those who accepted the challenge allowing buckets of ice water to be dumped on their heads, in order to raise awareness of ALS. There were as many reasons for taking the challenge as there was those who took the challenge, Personally, I took in honor of former Boston College baseball star Pat Quinn, and in memory of my daughter Danielle.