I take on the ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) Ice-Bucket Challenge
I first came across the #IceBucketChallenge a few days ago when I saw Marina’s video about it. A few minutes of Googling later and I realised that I had somehow missed this phenomenon that had been going around for a few weeks. I had heard of ALS previously but had not looked too much into it. I thought I’d make a pledge right there and then to make a donation but wait for a few days to see if I got challenged.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death.
Yesterday, my sister’s childhood friend Dr Farina tagged me on Facebook, nominating me for the challenge. I’ve got a bit of a cold at the moment so the timing wasn’t perfect but I thought, what the heck.
After I got nominated, I thought I’d read up more on ALS and particularly, how it’s impacting Malaysia. I couldn’t find much on the web so I turned to social media and asked around on Twitter and Facebook. Most of the responses I got indicated that Malaysia doesn’t actually have an official organisation working on this (if it does, it’s rather low-key because no one seems to have heard of it).
ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name.
I’ve been told that the late local football-legend Mokhtar Dahari died from complicated related to this disease.
I will be making a donation to ALSA (via this page – so you can donate too!) as I’m not aware of a local charity to support but I believe the money will contribute to research to finding a cute. I hope that the people I nominated (I did five because Farina nominated five too) – Davina Goh, Mike Campton, Guang Liang, Jason Goh (Smashpop) and YB Khairy Jamaluddin will accept the challenge and make a donation too (instead of one of the other).
3.27pm Malaysian time (+8 GMT)