Ice Bucket Challenge! What is it really about?

When I first heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge, I was perplexed. Why would anyone want to have a bucket of ice water dumped on their heads? Besides, aren’t we in a drought? Isn’t this wasting water? True, we are in a drought, and maybe it is wasting water; but when I recently learned what this challenge was really about (bringing awareness to ALS), I reassessed my opinion. Now I believe that the awareness being brought to this horrific disease is worth taking the Challenge, or better yet, donating $100 for ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease (Lou Gehrig’s) that runs in families, and takes everything from you: your muscle spasticity, your ability to speak, swallow, and breathe on your own. This terrible disease affects 30,000 people in the United States, and is the most common of the top five neuron conditions.

Anthony Carbajal is a 26-year-old photographer who has been diagnosed with ALS. His grandmother had it, and his mother was diagnosed with it when Anthony was in high school. Currently, his mother is unable to do anything for herself. It is devastating to watch Anthony caring for his mother who, in essence, appears like a rag doll. And to know, that not too far in the distant future, he too, will be like her.

Despite the nightmarish future awaiting Anthony, he is courageous, and is doing his best to bring awareness to this appalling, debilitating disease. I applaud Anthony’s courage and fortitude. By making what at first appears to be a humorous video, he gets to the heart of what it’s really about. What an unbelievable show of valor and heroism.

Take time today to express gratitude for your health, and for people like Anthony Carbajal who, despite knowing his plight, still has the courage to do something so grand.

Thank you, Anthony! And the best of luck to you and your endeavors.