So, I was challenged by my good friend, Kori DeLeon and also by my daughter to do the ALS ice bucket challenge. At first I didn’t want to do it. Who would want to dump ice-cold water over your head? It just seemed silly. It didn’t help that I’ve read some posts on Twitter and Facebook that were downright hostile. Some called it bullying to gather donations whereas others were upset over the showboating or offended by the people having fun doing the challenge when this is a serious disease.
My thought? RELAX, PEOPLE!
The ice bucket challenge has brought awareness to a terrible disease and for that reason, I decided to participate despite the naysayers. I’ve watched several videos from people who didn’t even know what ALS was before this challenge, so how can that be a bad thing? If you don’t want to do it then don’t. Nobody is going to care in the long run whether you do it or not.
Personally, how could I say no? Sixteen years ago I was diagnosed with an inflammatory myopathy. If you don’t know what that is; its symptoms parallel ALS. It was a virus that I contracted while I was pregnant with my third child without explanation of how I contracted it, or what would happen during its duration. Like ALS, it affects your neurological system which results in weakening of muscles until they no longer function. Within two weeks I couldn’t stand or hold myself up and by two months it had gone into my arms. Stanford Medical Center said it would eventually affect my heart. Thankfully, after giving birth, I began to regain mobility and after a year or rehabilitation I regained most of my strength. However, with ALS there is no recovering. There are medications that slow the process down, but there isn’t a cure. My experience has given me a different perspective. Not much is known about the virus I contracted, but if dumping a bucket of ice over my head brings awareness to another disease that’s even more debilitating than the one I experienced then I’m going to do it.
You can donate without being challenged at http://alsa.org/donate. Or, if you’re a little nervous about the challenge then do what Patrick Stewart did.
So here’s the video. The audio on my phone sucks thanks to dropping it in the toilet a year ago, so I’ve typed out my comments below the video.
Me: My name is Annalyse Knight and I’ve been challenged by Kori DeLeon and my darling daughter to do the ALS challenge. A lot of people are concerned about people doing the ALS challenge and not donating to ALS. I will be doing double the donation. Thank you, Kori, for nominating me. The other concern was that we live in California and we’re in the middle of a drought. As you can see by my grass, we barely water the grass right now, so for the next two days I won’t wash my hair to make up for the water that’s being used for this challenge.
Just really quickly, ALS is a degenerative disease that effects your muscles. It’s a debilitating disease that doesn’t have a cure. You can donate at alsa.org and I encourage everyone, even if you’re not challenged to do the ice bucket challenge, to donate anything to this worthy cause. I was diagnosed with an inflammatory myopathy sixteen years ago that effects your muscles which is similar to ALS. I can tell you from experience that a disease effects your muscles, isn’t a pleasant experience. It can be painful and I’m sure this water is going to be a little painful, too. So, absolutely go out and donate.
Okay, I’m ready.
Daughter: Who are you nominating?
Me: Oh yeah, who am I nominating? I’m going to challenge my cousin Shelly Watkins and one of my BFFs, Erin Davis. So, I expect to see THIS in 24 hours.
*Ice bucket challenge*
Daughter: You don’t need a shower now.