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article imageOp-Ed: Ice Bucket Challenge: A good cause or a chance to seek attention?

By Kev Hedges     Aug 22, 2014 in Health
It is the latest fad soaring across the Internet; celebrities are queuing up to have a bucket of ice cold water thrown over their over-sized heads, just to raise some money for charity.
This weekend, across many pubs, clubs and social centers in the United Kingdom, folk will be waiting in line to have a bucket of ice cold water chucked over them and hope that their closest Facebook chum will film the entire event for uploading online.
The lads will no doubt look forward to getting their shirt off and tightening their torso so the girls can swoon at the silly spectacle. The boys will look out closely for a protruding nipple or two on a wet t-shirt after the girls have had a go — and fewer than 10 percent of them will have any real idea why they are doing it and what they are exactly raising money for.
Motor Neuron Disease is the term we use mostly in Britain; in the U.S. it is often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease but the ALS bit actually is an abbreviated term for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; those taking part in an ice bucket challenge will supposedly be raising funds for research into a cure for this disease. ALS is the umbrella term for motor neuron diseases and its most famous sufferer is Prof Stephen Hawking. This is the cause you should be getting wet for, not for Facebook likes or comments.
Jackass actor and all-round nutter Steve O thinks much more cash should have been raised for ALS than the $15 million already in the pot; and when you consider that the likes of David Beckham, Lady Gaga and George "Dubya" Bush have all had a go, you have to agree with him.
But I'm not one to pour cold water on your bank holiday weekend fun; just remember your cash will not find a cure for ALS but it should help in buying drugs for treatment. A cure would be too economically destructive for drug companies — also worth noting is that the ALS Association will get just 27 percent of the cash you raise towards actual research.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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