Ames High gets icy

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Emma Stewart, Reporter

By now, most of Ames High has probably participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that has been circulating around Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even Vine like a storm.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is a movement that has changed the future for ALS patients worldwide. What some may not know, though, is that the challenge didn’t begin with ALS in mind. The phenomenon started as a dare between a group of pro athletes doing an Ice Bucket Challenge just to gain some attention, according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune.

The idea was that if anyone declined the challenge, they had to donate 100 dollars to a charity of their choice. In fact, the charity donation was more of an afterthought than what drove the challenge.

Fortunately, the challenge’s history was rewritten, credits to former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, diagnosed with ALS in 2012, with the creation of the challenge. He may have not been the originator of the challenge, but Frates definitely changed the meaning of it.

Millions of dollars have been raised for ALS ever since Frates’ version of the challenge went viral, and awareness has definitely been raised for ALS.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and progressively degenerates motor neurons until they eventually die (www.alsa.org). It is a slow and terrible disease, taking away the ability to move the arms, legs, and even neck. Imagine not being able to talk, eat, or breathe without help. That is, sadly, what an ALS patient has to go through every day until it reaches their heart and ends their life.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has revived the awareness of the disease and raked in millions of donations and thousands more donors. It may not have begun with ALS in mind, but it will surely be remembered as a movement that changed the history of ALS forever.