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The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

            I remember on July 12th being at Oriole Park in Baltimore, Maryland at a Baltimore Orioles game and seeing some guy on the field dump a bucket of water on himself before the game. I had no idea what or why he was doing that. Then I heard someone behind me say that was the ice bucket challenge, so I began to search online what the ice bucket challenge was and why people were doing it. What I found out was pretty intriguing and amazing. The main purpose of this was to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research the disease. ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder with various causes. It is characterized by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle wasting. This results in difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing (Motor). The challenge ultimately had two main goals, to raise money for ALS research, and to raise awareness for ALS. Pete Frates, a Bostonian who was diagnosed with ALS in March 2012, is widely credited with starting the challenge itself (ALS). While this challenge brought on so much success, raising awareness for tons of people and over $100 million in donations, there were also major criticisms of how much awareness it really raised, where the money was going and also what the real purpose and effect of it was.
             The rules of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge are very simple. Within 24 hours of being challenged, participants are required to record a video of themselves continuously. First, they are to announce their acceptance of the challenge followed by dumping ice into a bucket of water. Then, the bucket is to be lifted and poured over the participant's head. Then the participant is supposed to nominate a minimum of three other people to participate in the challenge. However, the one rule that was somewhat controversial was the donation. Whether people choose to donate, perform the challenge, or do both varies.

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