My grandmother died of ALS when I was sixteen. It was the saddest thing my family went through. My last memory of her was lying on the bed next to her (she was confined to her room, unable to move or talk) and watching It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I remember her laugh sounded like she had marshmallows in her mouth, which was heartbreaking, but I’m happy that my last memory of my grandmother was laughing with her. I’ve heard people call the ice bucket challenge annoying and vain, and that if we wanted to raise awareness we should do something that really teaches us the suffering of those with ALS (like sitting without moving for an hour) or just donate money. I’m pretty sure my grandmother wouldn’t want anybody to suffer needlessly (she would say, “if you are healthy, cherish it.”) And I know the ice bucket challenge would make her laugh (we all need some more laughter in our lives). My grandfather did all he could to find treatments for her, but there is little out there. I’ve also been overwhelmingly grateful for all the money and awareness raised from this campaign. Three of my great uncles died from ALS as well, which means it’s also highly hereditary in my family.
Continue on, ice bucket challengers! Let’s raise as much as we can to fight ALS!