What is ALS and Why is there an ALS Bucket Challenge?

What is ALS?

  1. 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.

Please check http://www.alsa.org/about-als/what-is-als.html for more info about ALS.

If you were born in the 90’s then you should have heard of Tuesdays with Morrie.   That’s when I first heard of ALS.  Morrie Schwarts is a  sociology professor dying from ALS.  This is one of Mitch Albom’s best books.

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” 
 Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

ALS is one of the diseases that has no cure yet.  However, there is one FDA approved drug, riluzole, that modestly slows the progression of ALS as well as several other drugs in clinical trials that hold promise.

Why is there an ALS Bucket Challenge?

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started with Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. On July 31 of this year, he challenged some friends and celebrities (including NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Matt Ryan) to take the ice bucket challenge to “strike out ALS.”

Ice Bucket Challenge was created to create awareness about ALS and to raise funds.  And it was a success.  The number of videos posted online shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

Here are my favorite videos:


Canadian ice-hockey player Paul Bissonnette


Bogart the Explorer


I also like the fact that the world’s most influential people are taking part in this challenge.

Mr. Facebook himself, Mark Zuckerberg

Then here comes… Bill Gates

Mr. Mission Impossible