Icy Hot: Why the Ice Bucket Challenge is Spreading like Wildfire

If you’ve logged onto Facebook this week, you’ve probably come across a video of someone dumping a bucket of ice water over their head. Yes, it’s a hot summer day, but there’s more to it than that: those insane, soaking wet people are willing participants in a viral fundraiser called the Ice Bucket Challenge. Challengers also name a few friends in each video, who are encouraged to either A) take the challenge themselves, or B) donate the the ALS Foundation. ALS, short for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This devastating condition has a life expectancy of two to five years, during which the patient gradually loses muscle control until they reach a state of paralysis. On average, one ALS patient dies every 90 minutes. There is no existing cure. Like many Americans, I first heard of ALS when I read an amazing book called Tuesdays with Morrie.

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