Aug 19, 2014 2:00 PM

Author: Office of Public Affairs


The Ice Bucket Challenge has become a global phenomenon. You’ve no doubt seen hundreds of videos on Facebook and Twitter of people dousing themselves in chilly water. Celebrities including Martha Stewart, Steven Spielberg, Kobe Bryant, and Justin Timberlake have taken part. 

Since the challenge has gone viral, a number of variations have popped up. But it typically goes something like this: If someone challenges you, you have 24 hours to donate $100 to the ALS Association or make a video of ice water being poured over your head and post it on social media. Many people do both, and some contribute much more. Participants are encouraged to pass the challenge on to others via social media.

According to the ALS Association, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $22.9 million as of Tuesday, Aug. 19. The money is used to provide assistance to patients who have been diagnosed with ALS as well as to fund research for new ways to treat and ultimately cure the degenerative disease.

The ALS Association says the challenge is meant to raise awareness as well as funds. ALS, which stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is also commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a neurological disorder in which the nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord that control muscle movement gradually deteriorate. It is eventually fatal, and there is no cure. 

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