Go Ahead and Dump Your Ice Bucket!
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. Lou Gehrig was an outstanding Hall of Fame baseball player with the New York Yankees in the 1920s and 1930s. His career ended because of ALS, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Over time, the brain loses the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which could lead to total paralysis.
The Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on your head to promote awareness of ALS and encourage donations to the ALS Association and the research it supports. It wasn't a campaign that was implemented by ALSA; rather, it started as a personal challenge among friends that became attached to ALS and went viral throughout social media during mid-2014.
A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply by dousing themselves with ice water and contributing $10 — or forgo the ice water and make a $100 donation. As of Sept. 1, ALSA had generated a record $94.3 million compared to $2.7 million during the same one-month period last year (July 29 to Aug. 27). This figure reflects an amazing 2.1 million new donors, and the total dollars raised thus far has topped $100 million!
I worked for 20 years as a vice president for two health care systems. I have seen many patients deal with a variety of diseases. While any disease has its own negative issues, ALS is one of the worst due to the long-term decline and suffering involved.
My uncle was an athlete. He played basketball during his stint in the U.S. Navy. He was very active and had a tremendously kind personality. He never said an unkind word to anyone. Sadly, ALS affected him in his prime, and his life was never the same. I watched over time as this athletic man suffered and his body and mind deteriorated. He never complained about his situation. My blessed aunt worked day and night to take care of my uncle. The greatest joy he experienced was watching and talking about sports. His passing ended his suffering.
F. Duke Haddad is currently associate director of development, director of campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he is also president of Duke Haddad and Associates, LLC in Fishers, Indiana.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the past 12 years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.