Years ago, when I was a much younger man, I would park my car in front of George’s house and walk in the front doors of my office. Occasionally, George would invite me into his home for some water and a little conversation. He was one of the nicest men I’d ever met. That warm and inviting personality didn’t change when he received his diagnosis of ALS. While he couldn’t lift a glass of water or wave to me from his front porch, he was still inviting and welcoming.
Over a very short amount of time we watched him slowly turn into a shell of his former self. His visiting nurse would bath him and care for him until, eventually, the disease made it impossible for him to swallow, lift his head, or even breathe on his own.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is about so much more than a viral gag that makes people shout and scream as they experience the shock of the ice water. This is a way to raise awareness of a disease that traps the mind in a lifeless body. It is a disease that has no cure. It is a diagnosis that has no hope.
And so, when my friend nominated me for the challenge, I was happy to do two things. First, I got wet and cold in an effort to help others be interested in the disease. Second, I went to ALS.org and made a donation in honor of George, in an effort to help find a cure for this dreaded disease.
Won’t you join me?