Many people question the validity of the campaign, but it seems like The Ice Bucket Challenge shows signs of success and has raised quite a significant sum for the sake of research. The project has reached over $200 million donated to research for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
It’s a neurodegenerative disease, during which nerve cells slowly and gradually break until they eventually die, resulting in muscle paralysis, dysfunction and, ultimately, in the unfortunate death of the patient. Between 90 and 95% of the cases are of an unknown cause, while 5 to 10% are known to be rooted in flawed genetics.
Generous funding has allowed researchers to look into the gene-mapping pool of ALS, and have recently “made a big breakthrough”, according to ALS researcher Jonathan Ling. While a cure has not yet been found, more and more preventive measures can be detected earlier on. The dysfunctional protein that has been linked to the crippling condition might be able to found sooner than before and lead to a faster diagnosis.
In fact, an assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University, Dr. Matthew Harris, has stated that researchers might be using genetic profiles to spot the warning signs of ALS within a patient’s DNA. It will allow them to better model the cause of ALS that has never been possible before, according to Dr. Dhruv Sareen.
It does hint to the fact that the Ice Bucket Challenge worked, or it might be stating it out loud, given that researchers were given the chance to make riskier decisions and find quicker solutions to advance treatments. It’s not a cure, but it’s a vast step forward, which was partly funded by a viral sensation across social media.
Some charities that start on social networking websites might not be the most conventional, successful or particularly useful. The Ice Bucket Challenge has received its fair share of criticism, but it seems that most of it was unfounded. Some scolded upon the narcissistic tendencies of publicly donating to charity and doing it all by dumping a bucket of ice cold water on their heads.
However, the value does not diminish simply because it’s fun. Perhaps it is a saddened moment in our time that the population requires an entertaining factor to help out other in needs, but that does not mean it lessens their intentions. Their motives might not be 100% pure, and yet, many who would benefit from generous donations will likely not care why their lives have been improved.
Whether loud or ostentatious, every fund counts in the long run, and it matters less why they were gathered as long as it helps them.
Image source: fastcompany.com