Here’s the story behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Selfie Sundays and Throwback Thursdays have taken a back seat to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The challenge consists of nominees videotaping themselves as ice water is dumped on their heads.

The videos are then posted on social media outlets, such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

This is done to raise awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a “rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles (muscle action we are able to control, such as those in the arms, legs, and face),” according to the ALS Association website.

If a person is nominated, they must either do the challenge within 24 hours of their nomination or donate $100 to the ALS Association.

Since July 29, the Association has received $94 million from this grassroots campaign, according to an article in The Washington Post.

Celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, George Clooney and President George W. Bush have been dunked.

Additionally, students and staff have participated in the challenge.

After English teacher Patricia Fels, nominated Brooke Wells, head of the high school, he performed the challenge at the high-school morning meeting on Aug. 27.

Wells accepted the challenge because, as he said before he was doused, he “wants students to step out of their comfort zones this year.”

The rules for the challenge are not concrete.

For instance, people have done the challenge in pairs, some are poured on by people on ladders and others opted out and wrote a check instead.

Sophomore Isabelle Leavy put a new twist on the trend.

Since California is going through the worst drought ever recorded, Leavy decided to save water.

She therefore used the contents of her freezer (seven boxes of Popsicles) for the challenge.

“That way I was still cold and I didn’t have to waste any water,” Leavy said. “However, the Popsicles did leave a bump on my head, since Popsicles are harder than they look.”

Although 5,600 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year, many people were unfamiliar with the disease until the challenge began.

Junior Sydney Michel was one of these.

“After I was nominated by (junior) Jenny (Kerbs), I looked up ALS,” Michel said. “I was surprised to learn that no new treatments had been created for the disease in 70 years.”

With the money raised from the challenges, the ALS Association plans on “increasing the number of scientists working on ALS, advancing new discoveries and treatments, and shedding light on the complex genetic and environmental factors involved in ALS,” according to the website.

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