Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? It was quite possibly one of the weirdest things to ever go viral, but it raised a TON of money in support of ALS research. Which was awesome, because ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, had been flying well below most people’s radar.
Last week news broke that money from the Ice Bucket Challenge had led to an actual breakthrough in ALS science – the discovery of genes that increase the risk of developing ALS.
As my YA book Gene Therapy explains, there’s a long road between discovering a gene and discovering a cure. But thanks to everyone that participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, we now know which continent that road is on. It’s a start. And it’s why I still have hope for humanity – small efforts, if made by enough people, really can change the world.
For health reasons (I have cold urticaria, which means I’m medically allergic to cold), I couldn’t participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Instead, I wrote “French Braid,” a contemporary YA short story about a family affected by ALS. It’s a PDF download, available exclusively through this site, and 50% of the proceeds go to ALS Canada in support of further research. Check it out.
Did you take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge? What’s your favourite way to make the world a better place?