If you’ve not heard of the ALS Awareness Ice Bucket Challenge, where have you been?
In brief, it’s a way of bringing attention to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and as Motor Neurone Disease here in the UK. It’s a horrid disease which is currently both fatal and incurable, and over the last few weeks, social media has been rife with people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads in a bid to make more people aware of the disease, and to raise money for research into a cure.
Celebrities around the world have been taking part, including a huge amount of NHL and NFL players, and several of the Elite League players here in the UK (although in the UK, the same challenge is also being used for another very worthy cause – Macmillan Cancer Support). Word has been spreading like wildfire (or wildfreeze, I suppose would be more apt), and the most important thing (other than watching shirtless hockey players dump freezing water over themselves) is that it’s working. In less than a month, the ALS Association in the US has received over $15million in donations, compared to $1.8million in the same period last year.
To donate in the UK through the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), you just need to text ICED55 followed by an amount (such as £10) to 70070.
So, after a challenge to all Pens fans from Mario Lemieux, my best friend in the world, Rosie (@71_pens_87), decided to do it. And when I successfully screwed up the recording of her video, causing her to have to do it twice, I knew it was my turn next. And if you know me, you know that getting me to stand up in front of a video camera and speak was one hell of a personal challenge for me.
In return, I’m challenging Sammo with the Women’s England Squad in Finland, Karl Nicholson, captain of the Manchester Phoenix Sledge Hockey Team, and Matt Clarkson, captain of the Kingston Kestrels Sledge Hockey Team.