ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Reaches School

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Rachel Harvey

Kelsey Eisenbarger, Writer

If you haven’t heard of it – you’re probably spending most of your days under a rock.

It’s the biggest trend on social media this month. A day that you scroll down your Instagram timeline and don’t see a video of someone shrieking as ice cold water gets dumped over their head is hard to come by. While assuming most everyone has heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, my guess is that only half of them know the real reason behind the phenomenon.

My grandma passed away when I was three from ALS and I think its really cool that people are starting to raise awareness for this disease”

— Kayla Roith

So, who has heard of Pete Frates?

Pete Frates is the creator of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and he has ALS. For those of you that are not aware: ALS is an irreversible neurological disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. More than 5,500 people are diagnosed with ALS every year and are only expected to live two to five years after diagnosis.

“My grandma passed away when I was three from ALS and I think its really cool that people are starting to raise awareness for this disease,” senior Kayla Roith said.

Frates was diagnosed when he was 27 and decided to take action and raise awareness for ALS during his fight. Only a few months ago, Frates challenged his friends to dump a bucket of ice water of their heads and make a donation to a charity of his choice: The ALS Association. At first, the challenge started with athletes at Boston College, where Frates attended school – then it spread.  Thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge, all together, over $12.5 million was raised in just a few months.

Students and staff have taken part in the movement and for weeks there have been videos on social media of Vikings participating and donating to the cause.

“It’s a fun way not only to raise money about a disease that many people don’t know about,” senior Paige Henderson said.

Everyone from students to teachers to coaches have been nominated and in turn challenged their friends and family members to participate in the phenomenon. If you were not nominated to complete the ALS challenge, that doesn’t mean you can’t participate. You don’t have to be nominated! Start an Ice Bucket Challenge chain yourself and nominate your own family and friends who have not yet participated. Make sure to donate $10 at alsa.org and let your friends know they have 24 hours to dump water over their head. They should donate $100 to the ALS Association if challenged but not completed because raising money for research is just as important as raising awareness.