Ice buckets, Stephen Hawking, and me

My entire city got tagged for the ice bucket challenge. I've never been one to refuse ridiculous dirty-double-dog-dares (GAME ON!), but after the Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker scandal of my teen years, and now more recently, the Mars Hill scandal, decided to take a step back from the herd mentality. Do some research. We know about the ice bucket but what about the disease itself? What is ALS? What does it do? Where do my ice bucket donations go?

I know. I know. Despite best intentions at levity, sometimes I can be a real buzzkill.

If you're in the United States, you might be more familiar with ALS--Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis--by its nickname: Lou Gehrig's disease. Gehrig being the first baseman for the New York Yankees for 17 seasons from 1923-1939. The disease retired him at 36. He died two years later. The most notable celebrity-turned-ALS-victim is Stephen Hawking.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

When you take the ice bucket challenge, your money goes to the ALS association. Here's a summary of their organization:

Established in 1985, The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

As the preeminent ALS organization, The Association leads the way in research, care services, public education, and public policy — giving help and hope to those facing the disease. The Association’s nationwide network of chapters provides comprehensive patient services and support to the ALS community. The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy, while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.

I also perused their mission statement. Putting victims, their families, and research first as core values? I like.

Having satisfied my curiosity, I then took a gander at how to approach the challenge with style and panache. Watched three of my geek heroes' responses. Starting with my most favorite author ever, Neil Gaiman:

Benedict Cumberbatch's contribution? I'm dying here. But does anybody really care if I douse myself six times? Or take a shower?

In the end, settled on the approach of a certain starship captain:

Following Sir Pat's debonaire example, I also went the quiet rout and made my donation. 

If you read this post to the end, I tag YOU for the ice bucket challenge.