The Ice Bucket Challenge: Eventers Raise ALS Awareness

I’m sure you’ve seen it by now, unless you inhabit the space beneath a rock. People all over your social media feeds are dumping buckets full of ice over their heads and nominating several of their unsuspecting friends to do the same. Why? The gesture is meant to spread awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Let’s get a little background on the subject we’re raising awareness for, shall we? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a neurodegenerative disease, meaning that the brain and spinal cord are affected. This disease affects a person’s motor skills with the death of motor neurons needed by the brain to control muscle movement. As the motor neurons deteriorate and, eventually, die, the brain becomes unable to send the necessary signals to muscles to create movement. Muscles will begin to atrophy as a result of their inability to move properly, and patients may eventually become completely paralyzed.

The disease has also been called Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the famed New York Yankee who was diagnosed with ALS in 1939. Before Lou made the public announcement about his diagnosis, ALS was virtually unheard of. For a man who had built his life around his exceptional motor skills, the diagnosis came as a devastating blow, and Lou passed away less than two years later.

Today, social media has become a place where ideas (good or bad) quickly become viral. The Ice Bucket Challenge began just a couple of weeks ago, getting a slow start on Twitter but gaining exponential traction as time went on. Soon enough, Facebook news feeds and Twitter timelines were overflowing with people all over the country dunking themselves in ice for a good cause.

How has this affected donations to the cause, you may ask? According to the Wall Street Journal, the ALS Association has been able to raise $7.6M in donations in two weeks from this campaign. Last year, the ALS Association raise $1.4M during the same period. How’s that for making a difference?

So, EN, how can you help? We don’t want to leave you out of the fun, so we would like to nominate YOU to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. We’d love to be able to post some of your videos, so if you’d like to share yours, email [email protected].

Want to know how to make a donation to the ALS Association? You can find much more information here. Aside from the Ice Bucket Challenge, there are many walks scheduled throughout the country that are available for you to participate in as well. Let’s join in and make a difference!

Now, we know you really want to see members of Eventing Nation getting their ice on so, without further delay, here is a collection of the videos we’ve collected so far. Keep an eye on this post, as several EN team members have yet to complete their challenge (we’re looking at you, Jenni and Chinch), so we will update this post as we receive more videos.

We already saw John’s temporary un-retirement, now we’ve got some more eventers getting iced for a cause for you! Emily Beshear has already won the prize for best demo of the cross country vet box, as shown above.

Jon Holling:

Kyle Carter:

Sally Spickard:

Leslie Wylie:

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