Enough with the talk against ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, please! If you don’t like it, don’t do it – keep it till there. Don’t take a step ahead to discourage others from doing it, only because you don’t like it. Wasting a bucket of water is hurting you so much, because they showed it on a video? are you really saving water during the entire day? the problem is, you don’t realize when you are at the wrong end but you keep trying to show others how they are wrong.
I decided to write this here, because I have a good reader base who reads about Dentistry here – students, patients and general population. I’m sure many would still take it ahead and do their part.
I took up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and did it for a reason. It was for the awareness about the disease which has got rarely a cure and there is no found cause for it. Thousands of people are suffering from the disease, living a life where they know they won’t be able to do everything that a normal human can, and knowing that there is nothing they or the most experienced doctors could do, to bring back the life to normal. Why? a couple reasons – 1. there are no proper drugs available. 2. the cause is not really known so prevention is not a possibility. It could happen to you anytime in your life.
“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes – goodwill among men and peace on earth.” — Albert Einstein
Such is our society right now, where I can show different examples of people trying to pull someone down to the lowest level if they see him getting appreciated for something being done for the society itself. Before getting into the stuff I read on my own timeline (see, I didn’t have to go elsewhere, my own timeline had so much negativity that it can show how the entire world is), here’s something about the disease:
- ALS can strike anyone.
- While there is not a cure or treatment today that halts or reverses ALS, there is one FDA approved drug, riluzole, that modestly slows the progression of ALS as well as several other drugs in clinical trials that hold promise.
- It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.
- Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
- Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more. More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
- The onset of ALS is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.
Are we donating or doing all this to show it off? I have seen at least a few friends of mine who just said “I would prefer donating rather than wasting water” – a couple of questions came into my mind but preferred to stay silent – “Did you really donate?”, and “Don’t you think awareness is important?”.
Is disease more important or the country? This was one of the worst things I saw – “Donate the money in India, not to Americans. India is in more need of it” – Who in the first case asked you to go find out whether the ALS Association is based out of America or somewhere else? the money is not going into any government’s pockets. This is for the research for drugs, and for taking care of the patients who are suffering from ALS. Don’t try to make this an issue for a particular nation and go against it. You are just creating negative vibes in the minds of people who are trying to donate their hard earned money, having only “good” thoughts in their mind. No one is stopping you from donating it to any Indian organization but playing with the minds of people is the worst I have seen in a good cause.
“people are doing it for show-off on social media” – What’s wrong in it? when you travel, or buy a car, or buy a phone.. the first thing you do is take a pic and share it. Isn’t that showing off? when this is being done for a health cause, it could be showoff for some, but the end result is something you cannot imagine because you already gave a tag of “show off” to it. Pretty simple for you to say it, hard to understand.
A question asked someone on my friend’s status – “Why don’t you donate to an AIDS association than ALS, there are more people suffering from that disease”. I could have answered him there, but again the first thing that comes to my mind – “Do you ever donate?” I still keep silent and thought, I would share my thoughts here – why can’t people make their personal decisions? why is that friend of mine questioned about the place where he is donating or which disease he is creating awareness about? if AIDS was in question, there are proper causes known for the disease and there are even larger associations and campaigns around the disease. ALS on the other side has a very limited awareness and people who are suffering from it and families of them, only know how worse it could make their lives. Please don’t question “why this and why not that”.
“Wasting water is such a bad idea” – this was said by even a few celebrities if the general public creating negativity weren’t enough. I am not totally against it, but still water is wasted anyways. Go to a five star hotel where celebrities go frequently, and see how much water they waste. If it is being used for a good cause, don’t give it a tag of “waste” only because you have an Internet connection, some good time to spend and edit a picture showing a poor mother asking for a glass of water. This doesn’t serve any purpose too. If you really cared, you should have already gone to one of the slums with a tanker of water and donated that. That would have made them happier, than a few likes you got on your comment on social media for posting that picture.
“Many people who took up the challenge even didn’t care to tell what ALS is” – I agree with this totally, and was quite disappointed that not majority but quite a lot of people just accepted the challenge, tagged a few friends and soaked themselves in Ice water, and forgot to mention about the disease or cause. But believe me, there were curious people asking their particular friend (who made / shared the video) on what is ALS, and that is how people got to know about the disease. I am still happy that at least those who were totally negative about it, at least learned about the disease.
“they are all idle people they think anything and do anything..which leads to nothing” – One of the comments I read on another friend’s status about ALS. Do you realize that doing something for good is better than sitting idle and doing nothing? you were doing nothing so sat and wrote this very thoughtful comment of yours, but don’t you understand that if you spent some time thinking about the same disease, you could have helped someone understand what it is. But you chose otherwise. Creating awareness needs a chain reaction, and that is what is being done here. Some times, a busy manager of a big company might take some time and spend it on social networks, where he might watch a video of a friend who took up this challenge. If he realizes what it was all about, he could with his good heart, go straight away and donate some money, which is the other reason why people are making this challenge so viral.
“It started on a noble note, but now, its more of “Look I Did It Too” kind of a phenomenon.” – Don’t look at how people did it, how they told it to others. Think about how did it affect you. Did you take it positively and rather than saying “I pass”, did you donate or even tell your family members what ALS is about? did you read and understand what the disease is? I bet you didn’t.
As of today, i.e. 24th August, the ALS association has got donations over $70 million from July 29 to August 24, and this period last year had donations of $2.5 million. You can see how much did the Ice Bucket Challenge play a role in the rise of donations. It is not just fun, but more than that. Some might be doing it only for fun, but putting them as an example to go against the entire campaign is plain stupidity.
The world is full of a lot of fear and a lot of negativity, and a lot of judgment. I just think people need to start shifting into joy and happiness. As corny as it sounds, we need to make a shift. – Ellen DeGeneres
Raju, a friend of mine got such comments on his timeline and I had similar thoughts to his when he replied to them: In charity, there isn’t any favorite. You do yours, I do mine. This Ice Bucket Challenge is why one has started the Rice Bucket Challenge, a charity drive in India. Nothing about copying here, but still, try to take out the positives from a campaign rather than seeing what is bad in it.
I am now asked to take up the Rice Bucket Challenge, something new started for “good” in India. And I will accept that too, and why not? am I or you the ones to tell whether this concept is copied or inspired or whatever? is that our job? are we eating our meal and saving much that we can donate some from it? if yes, we should do it and see how it feels. Btw, the rice bucket challenge is even simpler, and for those who were very much worried about the wastage of water, here nothing is getting wasted. You are donating directly to the poor around you, and this will surely make you feel better. Whatever is the cause, you should support it and do it if you can.
Gaurav Jaggi says
Hats off! I wanted to answer these people as well, but I couldn’t & you have perfectly done that.
There is one more thing going on social media – ATS spends only 7% of total donations from this challenge in actual research & much of it goes to pockets of the organizers.. Please clarify.
Dr. Chetan says
Hey Gaurav, first off there is nothing like organizers or such here. ALS is a disease where research has been already done a lot but the cure hasn’t been found and more money is needed. Social media has been a platform where both Truth and Lie spreads in the same pace. I won’t believe in such statements, because after being in public information in such a huge way, the money won’t go into any pockets so easily. Still, I don’t have anything to prove thus won’t go against anything here.