Two summers ago, everyone was recording themselves pouring buckets of ice water all over them and challenging their friends and family members to do the same. Thousand of videos went viral on social media. The concept still seems a little weird, but we all did it anyway because we knew in the end, the challenge supported a great cause.
We all had fun with the challenge. I’m sure you can recall laughing at your friends as you filmed them with your phone or shivering when you remember how cold the splash of water felt, even after you dried yourself off.
Or if you didn’t participate, you may still remember watching celebrities like Josh Hutcherson, Rihanna, Bradley Cooper, Lindsay Lohan, Justin Bieber and Cristiano Ronaldo accept the challenge.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was simple: if you were challenged, you had to either record yourself dumping a bucket of ice water over the top of your head or donate money to support amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). It’s a neurodegenerative illness that severely damages nerves in a person’s brain and spinal cord.
Let’s talk about the dude that started the whole thing: Pete Frates. He was the former Captain of the baseball team at Boston College and he played professional baseball in Europe. In the spring of 2012, when he was only 27 years old, he was diagnosed with ALS.
Now, two years later, Frates is being awarded the NCAA Inspiration Award for, well, being an inspiration of course! The challenge he started not only raised a whopping 220 million dollars for the ALS Association, but it helped raise awareness about the disease and those who suffer from it.
Unfortunately, Frates is unable to attend the upcoming awards ceremony in January because the disease is progressing.
As of now, there’s no cure for ALS, but hopefully Pete will keep inspiring us to find the cure someday soon. Until then, we can celebrate his award and continue drenching ourselves with buckets of ice water.
To donate or to learn more about the ALS Association, visit here