If you’re on Facebook, your news feed has probably been inundated with videos of people dumping ice water on their heads. This is due to a brilliant marketing campaign by the ALS Association, and has so far raised upwards of $70 million. ALS is a neurological disease that can strike pretty much anyone at any time. There is no cure at this point. The ALS Association states that ALS patients are like snowflakes… no two are alike. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint similarities in order to find a common thread in patients with this disease.
In January of 2013, I knew nothing about this disease, except that it was named after Lou Gehrig. (ALS is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.) Then my own father was diagnosed. It all started with a lack of feeling, or numbness, in his right thumb and forefinger. His arms and legs would cramp and twitch. He got very weak. He went from walking, to needing a cane, to eventually using a wheelchair. He had trouble breathing, and needed a bi-pap machine, then a cough assist machine. He had a feeding tub installed exactly a year after his diagnosis. He caught pneumonia and ended up in the ICU. The doctors got rid of the pneumonia with antibiotics while dad was intubated, but he was too weak to breathe on his own after that. He passed away on March 8, 2014. He had just turned 66.
Here I am with my dad just last summer:
This disease hits home for me, and several friends have asked me how I feel about the Ice Bucket Challenge. I personally think it is wonderful! Millions of dollars have been raised to help fight this dreadful disease, and awareness is spreading like wild fire around the world! My dad would have loved it, too, seeing all of his buddies dousing themselves in ice water while helping to bring awareness to the forefront.
I’m thankful for Chris Rooker, our team leader, and Karl Waizecker, Broker at Kline May Realty, who took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and also donated to the cause. Click the image below to watch the video:
If you’d like to donate, please visit www.alsa.org. From someone who has seen someone dear affected by this disease, it is very much appreciated. Please consider helping to STRIKE OUT ALS!