Thursday, September 11, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Our family was nominated to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by my cousin Katrina's family. We had fun doing it as a family to raise awareness to a disease that, admittedly, is rare but for that very reason should have awareness raised about it. I wanted to share our challenge video here as well so we can remember our experience. Almost everyone knows the challenge by now, but indulge me a little here since in ten years when we come back and read this we may have all forgotten. The challenge is to dump a bucket of ice water on your head, then nominate others to do the same. Complete the challenge within 24 hours of when you were nominated or donate $100 to the ALS Association (or other ALS asociataed organization) We decided to do the challenge and donate $10 to ALS. A little about ALS from from www.alsa.org

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no or negative. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment–"No muscle nourishment." When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening ("sclerosis") in the region. 
As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies. 
I feel like you should watch this four times to catch everyone's reaction when they get dunked.

1. Micah's expression when he goes from thinking this is really fun to realizing what it really feels like to get dumped with cold water. We actually filled his cup up with warm water, but either Micah or Camden dumped it out and, as you can see in the video, I filled it up last second with cold water. He was a champ though, just looked a little shocked.

2. Julia had seen a lot of other ice bucket challenges so she was excited to get in on the action as well. She insisted on doing it in her swim suit and doesn't even look cold at first. We realized the coldest part is sitting in your freezing wet clothes until you can change.

3. Robert filled up the buckets and filled mine up a little less than his, but not less enough! I picked up my bucket, but couldn't lift it over my head. So I stop mid way, then see everyone else has dunked themselves and I better just do what I can. Therefore I cheated a little because my hair never gets soaked because I couldn't lift my bucket high enough.

4. Robert doesn't even look fazed. It IS cold water, we did have ice in it, but most of it melted while we were setting up. Also, note that Camden really wanted to participate and was mad he was left out. Afterward he crawled over to where we did it and got wet anyway, and I didn't bring any extra clothes for him (we did this at our new house, but we weren't moved in yet so I had to plan ahead and bring extra clothes for everyone). He went home (to Saratoga Springs) wearing no pants and an extra shirt of Micah's.




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