ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE
The so-called “Ice Bucket Challenge” is an informal dare consisting of pouring cold water on one’s head for a cause. It began in North America where one is tasked to donate money to cancer research or jump into the cold river. Hence, it began as “Cold Water Challenge” before it evolved to what is promoted to by social media and which went viral in cyberspace sometime in July and August, 2014. The idea was to pour iced water or water with ice or donate 100 US Dollars to research on the treatment of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a debilitating disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons, those nerves from the brain to the spinal cord, in said ailment leads to death.
Note that A-myo-trophic is derived from the Greek language “A” means no or negative. “Myo” refers to muscle and “Trophic” means nourishment, hence, “No muscle nourishment.” When a muscle receives no nourishment, it emasculates or waste away. “Lateral” means the areas in a person’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. When this area degenerates, it leads to the hardening (“sclerosis”) of the region in the body thus affected.
This is an unheard of ailment and its name is even unpronounceable. It has often been referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famous baseball player Lou Gehrig, who publicly revealed his diagnosis in 1939. Since then the cure for the ailment remained a mystery.
The disease has no known treatment and whatever it is that would lead to treatment requires a very expensive research procedure. The medical study is extremely sensitive to the point that it even collided with certain moral issues since the only optional management of the disease requires a heavy dependency on stem cell therapy using embryonic cells in its formulation. The Church would frown on this development since the use of embryo as component of the treatment is human life in its initial stage.
The “ice bucket challenge” has spawned a similar movement and has amused netizens no end. As such, there is the “Lift a Sack of Rice Challenge.” And then, there is “Rice Bucket Challenge” where a person is required to share a bucket of rice to the poor. There were even political columnists who would advance a variation of the challenge addressed to their target personalities. An Inquirer columnist even recommended that corrupt politicians should be given a “Boiling Oil Challenge.”
Whatever it is, whether it is frowned upon or just a sudden fad, the challenge is educational and an instructive forum leading to a general awareness of certain diseases or practices which otherwise would have been ignored.