You are probably aware of the online phenomenon called “The ALS Ice Water Challenge”. If you are not, this challenge involves an individual having a bucket of freezing cold water dumped on their head to show that they are making a donation to the ALS Foundation. This is a fun and unique way t raise money for this awful disease.
I have watched countless videos of people become sopping wet and scream their lungs out from the shock of sudden body temperature change. I have even waited a long time for someone to challenge me to do this Ice Water Challenge. The day has finally come.
Earlier this afternoon, a friend of mine told me to be looking for my challenge call out. I was ready. I couldn’t wait. My turn had finally arrived and I had everything in place. I knew exactly what I was going to do. But then, that same friend didn’t encourage me or support me in my plan. After that I started to reconsider if I wanted to go through with this challenge.
As my friend and I kept talking, I was faced with a bigger challenge. Why? Because I wanted to not only do this challenge for ALS, but also Pancreatic Cancer in honor of my grandmother. It was at this time that I was faced with an even bigger challenge. My friend faced me with the statement, “The ice bucket is and ALS thing. Find something else to do for cancer”. So, after many hours of thinking, I have decided to NOT pour water over my head, but rather accept the challenge to bring awareness in my own way. Right now.
However, before I go any further, I want to take a moment to ease your questions. I would imagine that some of you are wondering if/why I have a problem with the Ice Water Challenge. Yes, I have one problem with this challenge. The hope of many is that this project will bring AWARNESS about ALS. But you know what? No one has made me aware of anything about this disease. No one has told me any statistics or how I can get involved to fight this thing. I am over joyed that so much money has been raised for this cause. I hope these funds will propel us to new heights and get us closer to having a cure. But, I want to use my voice and my blog to do what I wanted to do in my video. BRING AWARNESS. To not only ALS, but Pancreatic Cancer. Let’s continue, shall way.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
This disease is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This disease affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which lead to motor neurons in the muscles. After the motor neurons are affected, they begin to degenerate and finally die. At this point, an individual’s brain loses the control of the muscle. In later stages, this causes paralysis. When a person looks at the root meaning of this disease’s words, it literally means “No Muscle Nourishment”.
While there is no known cure or treatment for this disease at this time, recent years and advanced technology have propelled scientist in the right direction. As of now, their is only one approved drug that can help slow the progression of ALS and also many therapies that can help to control the symptoms of ALS.
(Acknowledgment to: www.alsa.org)
A few facts about ALS
1. Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 75, with the majority after age 60, although it can occur at a younger age.
2. The disease is relatively rare; the incidence is roughly 2 people per 100,000 per year.
3. Some 50 percent of patients live at least two years after diagnosis; 20 percent live five years or more and up to 10 percent survive more than 10 years.
4. Those diagnosed with ALS are able to live a few years after prognosis.
(Acknowledgment to: www.alscenter.org)
The Pancreas is an organ in your abdomen that helps with digestion and regulating sugar. The prognosis for this type of cancer is often not good because it is hard to catch in early stages. It is usually not detected until it is in a late stage and surgery is not an option. Some symptoms of this include, loss of appetite, loss of weight, upper stomach pain, and fatigue.
(Acknowledgment to: www.mayoclinic.org)
A few facts about Pancreatic Cancer
1. About 46,420 people (23,530 men and 22,890 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014.
2. About 39,590 people (20,170 men and 19,420 women) will die of pancreatic cancer in 2014.
3. Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially over nearly 40 years.
4. The average life expectancy after diagnosis with metastatic disease is just three to six months.
(Acknowledgment to: www.pancreatic.org)
So, now you have been educated. You have been made AWARE of two terrible diseases that affect our family, our friends, our co-workers. These things affect every person around us. Now, I want to challenge you to make someone aware in your own way. It doesn’t have to be about ALS or Pancreatic Cancer. Whatever you want. But lets get the focus off a bucket of freezing water and move it to educating the people we care about.
If you want more information for either of these causes, please click on any of the links above. If you would like to get involved, you can donate what you can or research if there are volunteer opportunities or awareness walk/runs in your area.
With all of this said, to my dear friend: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.