Raising Awareness and Donations for ALS


Story by: Cassie Ferrick

In the past few weeks, a new phenomenon has clogged the Instagram feeds of thousands, all consisting of buckets filled with ice cold water, dedicated to the tragic disease, ALS.

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, the progressive deterioration of the motor neurons eventually leads to death.

The ice bucket challenge is essentially a dare given by someone to a friend, where one must nominate three other people to do the challenge, then take a bucket of ice water and dump it on their head, or donate money to the ALS foundation.

Senior Annie Parscale, nominated to the challenge by Junior Kate Brown, completed it and asked friends Bailey Ferre, Riley Ferree and Hailey Criswell.

“I was thinking yeah, the ice bucket gets dumped on you, but that’s not how the people who have ALS are. That’s how they feel the entire time, and you only feel that for a split second, and I watched the first real video about it before and some others and it kind of just makes me think, like if I had that, it would be absolutely horrible.” said Parscale.

Parscale noted that the best part about raising awareness for the challenge is that the donations being made towards the foundation are rising rapidly, and that giving money towards the cause is the most helpful way to bring attention to the disease.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised an enormous amount of awareness for the ALS foundation and has had made over 88.5 million dollars in donations, and the general public is now more informed than ever on the severity of the disease, helping families across the world find hope for a cure.

“I like it because it raises awareness and stuff so I think it’s good because it really is a bad disease and it’s not super common but it’s really hard to watch a family member go through that and nobody really knows much about it so it means a lot. It’s a good thing.” said Junior Emily Doak.

Doak’s uncle passed away from ALS two years after contracting the disease about 4 years ago. Doak’s uncle lost the ability to use his hand muscles first, then the ability to walk, and soon his speech. Doak has said that her family tried their best during his last years to take him on vacations and help him enjoy what was left of his life.

“The best thing to do is probably donating money to the cause, because if you donate, hopefully they can find a cure for it.” said Doak.

West hosted the annual first of the year pep assembly outside on the football field Fri, Aug. 20th.  During the assembly, administrators Debbie Katzfey, Dr. David Sharp, Frank Honn, Brad Parsons, Jeremy Hubbard participated in the challenge. Principal Sharp found that if West raised awareness for the disease, the word would spread to those West have challenged, and in the long run help to find a cure for ALS.

“I know that ALS is a really debilitating disease and actually on twitter last night I watched several heartfelt videos of folks who actually have ALS and some of the daily struggles that they go through. After watching that, actually this really resignated a lot more as to the cause. It’s a disease that doesn’t get a lot of monetary help from our government so these funds that we go to help raise awareness.” said Sharp.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has become a case of people worldwide joining together to raise awareness for a disease that affects an estimated 30,000 Americans at any given time. Donating to the ALS foundation can help raise money for lab researchers to find a cure, and ensure that the ice bucket challenge has been successful in bringing the world together to raise awareness. One can donate any amount of money to the foundation at: http://www.alsa.org