All aboard the Bandwagon: #IceBucketChallenge

YOU’VE probably all had your Facebook feeds cluttered with half naked guys and gals pouring freezing cold water over each other, screaming their heads off or even getting knocked out by a rogue bucket or two, but there is a more serious issue behind this trending phenomenon.

bucketThis morning I got up and showered. Then I filled a kettle up and boiled it for a single cup of tea. Then I had a glass of water whilst I contemplated how I might waste further water throughout the day. Thankfully, the ice bucket challenge is constantly bombarding my face and after long deliberation over whether it’s narcissistic or good willed, I’ve concluded that it isn’t such a bad thing to be both — and hell, I’d like to think I’m as arrogant and charitable as anyone. The last water bill I received was charged at around £60 per unit, which is 13 baths apparently. I’d say one bucket might equate to a fifth of a bath at most, meaning I only need to donate £1.01p to make up for wastage. Unlike in California where most of the real famous people live, there is no drought in Wales… unsurprisingly. Hopefully that alleviates some guilt.

Though the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” has begun to sound more like something that occurs during a basketball half-time show than something invented to increase awareness about a lesser known disease. Most people know this as “Lou Gehring’s Disease” but know very little about how the disease functions or the fact that it is currently incurable. Some of us aren’t even mentioning charity anymore in our challenges and it’s gotten more ‘nek-nominate’ than ‘look at this horrendously debilitating and incurable disease affecting millions: let’s do something about it’.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Motor Neurone Disease, affects around 7 in every 100,000 of us – this may not seem like a lot, but it still equates to almost half a million of us here in the UK. So far the MNDA in the UK has raised over £4.5 million and ALS in the US has raised over $15 million. That’s a lot of money and the fact that both ALS and MNDA are endorsing the challenges should make any second-guesser put down their stiff upper lip and pick up a fucking bucket. People such as Anthony Carbajal have made moving videos for thier ice bucket challenges that hopefully make you stop whining about how your news feed is just people covering themselves in ice instead of mindless status updates and upworthy articles about Miley Cyrus. Annoying as it may be to not be able to see your Aunt Sally’s status on how her new baby farted for the first time, it should at least spark some human curiosity in you to Google the hell out of this and find out why they really do need your money. ALS is a progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and although there are minute numbers of people in which the disease has stopped progressing or has reversed, the reasons behind this are still unknown.

This is probably the most money raised in the shortest amount of time for the disease ever. However, whilst that is good going, second richest man in the world Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg who Forbes listed yesterday as $385.1M better off just TODAY than he was yesterday and Charlie Sheen who made $1,000,000 per episode of Two & A Half Men have all contributed, along with countless other 1%ers. Given the fact that the UK raised £31.1 million in one night for Children in Need last year, couldn’t we be doing better? (Matt Damon, Justin Timberlake, David Beckham and Kylie Minogue > McBusted and Terry Wogan… just saying). If you give only once this year make it this charity and this disease because it has no fixed survival rate, and in a world where we care more about a celebs latest tattoo than the welfare of our population that is disgusting.

I am sadly not a billionaire. I don’t even have a single million, but I have donated. Not just to MDNA (Text ICED55 £5 to 70070) but also to Help For Heroes, as I met a guy in work walking 8000 miles around the entirety of Great Britain, (including Scotland before it buggers off). He had a free meal on the restaurant and he can have my bloody tips from that night too.