We have a new good reason to look forward to August, the bittersweet month of school break ending, sweltering summer days drawing to a September close, and in the case of my family, celebrating another year our Mom has been with God.
It’s ALS month.
Last year when the Ice Bucket Challenge launched, the letters “ALS” went from being known to those personally touched in some way by the disease to being a worldwide abbreviation for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis—Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
This terrible disease of the nervous system causes muscle weakness throughout the body. The person’s brain stays fully in tact—when you meet someone with ALS remember that even if their speech is impaired, they hear and understand everything you are saying the same as they did pre-illness. (See here for a fuller explanation of ALS.)
Our Dad died from ALS in April of 2009.
There are, according to the ALS Association, 15 new cases of ALS diagnosed every day. That number may sound small to you, but I guarantee that because this is an always-fatal disease, to receive the news is devastating.
I’m glad the Ice Bucket Challenge is back and will happily (okay, maybe not happily, I hate being cold!) drench myself in ice in order to promote the cause.
The 220 Million raised because of the Challenge last year is being wisely spent on research and assistance for ALS patients. I love that people both accepted the challenge of a self-soaking and made a donation to ALS instead of only dunking. It is a symbolic act that gives us a moment of misery in comparison to the ongoing pain an ALS person suffers from.
So, let’s kick it off, folks! Here’s how…
I’m dunking on August 1st and challenge my siblings to do the same. Here’s to obliterating this horrendous disease from the landscape of our lives.