A friend of mine challenged me to do the ALS together with a few friends. I appreciated her nomination – she trusted us to follow her cause and course.
The last few weeks have seen an explosion of posts on my facebook wall about the ALS challenge and people taking it. It has made me wonder how it feels to have an ice bucket poured over me AND whether pouring all that ice will help the ALS people. I understood this was just a gaming by the organizers to bring in a fun factor to the whole idea. I was not against it yet- if people wanted to have fun, they were welcome to.I was grateful that my friends who did the challenge were willing to experience a second of discomfort in solidarity with patients of ALS.
When I was nominated I went to the ALS page to donate, I saw huge amounts of donation. It made me think about the amount of unexplored diseases and diseases for which there was no known cure yet like Lupus. Having worked for a Pharma company, I knew that there might be Pharma companies who invested in this as well. I found this to be the case as well. At this link, Jennifer Booston of Market Watch talked about the top pharma companies which looked for a cure.
My husband has discussed several times the problems with water that looms high on the horizon. One of my friend’s friend pointed this out as she lives in California which is experiencing severe drought now. I have read about the droughts in different parts of the world. I come from India where many people do not have access to safe drinking water. Ice that we would be using would be drinking water. Suddenly I was uncomfortable doing the challenge of just pouring ice down.
I was uncomfortable with donating to a cause which already attracted a lot of fund when the other causes I believed in struggled to get funds. I did not feel I was really helping by just giving the money to ALS or by pouring the ice over me. I wanted to do something that caused a real change in someone’s life. Luckily 2 of my other friends felt very strongly about this too. So we decided to follow the #ricebucketchallenge that would make a small change to someone’s life and donate to a cause closer to my heart.
I am glad my friend nominated me for the challenge – and my other friends felt as strongly too – I think this helped me feel better about taking up “a” challenge and still helping in small ways. Yet, finally it is all about “feeling” better, sitting in our comfortable life. In order to feel like the people going through this, we will have to live their life or see someone at close quarters who lives this. Perhaps this is why I feel strongly about Lupus or Alzheimers/dementia rather than about ALS having seen all these at closer quarter.