Thursday, August 21, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

You know what's inspiring? The fact that the social media ice bucket challenge has raised $22 million dollars for ALS. That's amazing!

Six months ago I thought ALS was a disease that affected old people. I thought it was a disease that ran in families. And I had no idea that a diagnosis of ALS was a death sentence.

Since this challenge I have learned that ALS is a disease that mostly affects people between the ages of 40-60. Ninety percent of the people diagnosed have no family history of the disease.  There is currently no cure for this horrific disease that steals you of your muscles which eventually includes your lungs - your ability to breathe. And I learned from a friend, Jen Hart who lost her uncle to ALS, that it doesn't affect your mind - so although you are fully aware of your body dying around you - your mind thankfully remembers the people you love up until the last breathe you take.

There are critics out there that think this challenges is doing nothing other than annoy people when they check Facebook. I think those critics are unloved people that need a hug!

Not only has the challenge raised my awareness to this disease, it has educated me about it, and made me realize that because of how "rare" of a disease it is, its very unlikely the bio-medical field will invest the millions and billions it will take to find a cure. As Dan Diamond with Forbes said best, "ALS is technically an "orphan disease" - it afflicts about 30,000 Americans, or about 2 in 100,000 people. That means there's little incentive for pharmaceutical companies to pour billions into R&D and pursue the market." In plain and simple - without private donations the needed funding to find a cure for ALS will not be achieved.

Some critics have argued that even the $22 million raised won't do anything to help fund research to find a cure. I refuse to believe that. In addition, I don't think this ice bucket challenge is even far from over - I think world is prepared to raise at least another $22 million for ALS.

I'm thrilled to have been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge and I was honored to donate to the ALS foundation at www.alsa.org. Here's my video and here's what I wanted to say (I screwed up a lot of words - my dyslexic mind at its best with poor word retrieval on the spot and I was a little nervous about the boys jumping in after me.)

video

"I was nominated for the ALS bucket challenge by my most beloved and inspiring friend, Harriott Lumpkin who is a stage three breast cancer survivor and has experienced first hand what all these donations can do to forward medical research.

As one of our own within the Proctor family has been diagnosed with ALS, I've chosen to nominate three of my most favorite Proctor people: Corbett Leith, Dougo Houston and Katrina Roski-Pearl!

This is the White Salmon River, which is fed by glaciers coming off Mt. Adams - its basically a river full of ice. This jump and my donations are in honor of Eric and Heide Johnson and their two daughters."