Call me a grumpy old twenty something, but I’m not doing the ice bucket challenge


Well done to those who have taken part in the Ice Bucket Challenge.  To the hundreds of celebrities and people who have raised awareness for charities across the world. To be honest I didn’t even know what ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) was before, I mean I heard about it, but I didn’t understand what it meant fully.

What is ALS? 

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” 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. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Why am I not doing the ice bucket challenge?

Call me an old git, but I refuse to do it. At first  the whole point about the ALS ice bucket challenge was about raising awareness but now it seems to be people pouring buckets of water on their heads for a laugh and that’s just not cool. Yeah I’m a spoilsport, an inconsiderate individual that has no sense of fun, who has no idea how incredible this movement is because “did you know Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jamie Dornan and even Victoria Posh Spice Beckham took part, so why aren’t you?’

I’m not doing it for the following reasons:

Peer pressure 

I’m all for people raising awareness through whatever campaigns, go wild with that but I don’t think people should make you feel guilty about if you do or don’t take part. Everyone helps donating and raising awareness their own ways and nominating people to pour a bucket of water over their heads when it’s seriously fucking cold outside or outing them on whichever social media channel is a bit pathetic. If someone wants to raise money, they shouldn’t be told how much they should donate and shouldn’t feel like they have to take part in this challenge.

Charity can happen in many different ways – why does it have to be through ice and water? 

Anyone can choose to donate to a chosen charity how they want to, whether that is through spending time with those youngsters who patrol our high streets at the weekend and donating a fiver per month, running in a silly costume in a race, spending time with your elderly neighbour who has no one to spend their evenings with – why should we be made to choose who we donate to? The time I would have wasted a bucket for of water over my head (I should just stand under the rain and get soaked for an hour willingly for a laugh – natural and I didn’t waste any water – oooh a plan!) I think anyone who wants to donate should be able to do so, through any method they want to and have the choice of who they want to donate to.

The whole point is not to see how many people ‘like’ your video

Thanks to the likes of the God-awful Kardashian clan, it’s all about self promotion these days – ‘oh look at my butt in these super tight jeans’ – this challenge shouldn’t be to see how many “likes” you can get, it should be to raise awareness. Out of the 300 friends on my Facebook, probably the 25 out of the 50 people who have done it, have actually donated. Shame on the rest who thinks it’s now just seen as a fun past-time.

You won’t catch me in a bikini top flaunting my curves in this weather

If you’re English, you’ll get me on this one, it’s personally too friggin cold to stand outside in my teeny ting shorts and bikini top showcasing my figure that should only be available to blind people on the beach, whilst I pour water over myself. Let’s just save that image from all your minds and watch people who are stupid do it this way:

My donation, my choice

Personally my donation is going to two charities. I couldn’t choose 1 in particular because, well, I feel strongly about 1 and now understanding the full ins and outs about ALS or MND, I am donating to this charity as well.

Cancer Research UK

No other charity anywhere in the world is doing more to beat cancer than we are. We’re the only one fighting over 200 cancers, including the one that matters most to you, and here in the UK we’re the single largest funder of cancer research. All this is only possible with our generous supporters and hard-working scientists.

Cancer Research UK has been working on pioneering life-saving research for over a century. These pages tell the story of our groundbreaking achievements and the real progress we’re making in preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association 

Motor neurone disease is a rare condition that affects around 2 in every 100,000 people each year in the UK. There are about 5,000 people living with the condition in the UK at any one time.

Most cases first develop in people in their early 60s, but people as young as 18 and as old as their 90s can also develop the disease. Motor neurone disease affects slightly more men than women.

In 5% of cases, the person has a family history of motor neurone disease or the related condition frontotemporal dementia. This is known as familial motor neurone disease, and relatives of the person may be at an increased risk of developing the disease in later life.

Thanks to the ALS challenge, I now understand the full meaning of MND and the difficulty people face on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.  Both these charities have done a significant amount to raise awareness and my donation will hopefully make a difference, even though it’s small.

Final note

I hope that anyone who chooses to continue to take part in this ‘challenge’ actually continues to raise awareness for the charities they have hopefully donated to. Anyone that wants to donate should donate to a charity that they relate to and you should choose how you want to donate. Your difference makes a change, however big or small.

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