News / USA

Debilitating Disease Gets Windfall Support through Social Media

Debilitating Disease Gets Windfall Support Through Social Mediai
X
August 20, 2014 2:06 AM
A social media stunt sweeping the United States is drawing attention and money to combat the deadly neurological disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. In the U.S. alone, there are roughly 15 new cases of ALS diagnosed each day and the disease is well-known for claiming the life of famed American baseball player, Lou Gehrig, nearly 80 years ago. Arash Arabasadi reports from Washington on the social media campaign to find a cure for ALS.
Debilitating Disease Gets Windfall Support Through Social Media
Arash Arabasadi

A social media stunt sweeping the United States is drawing attention and money to combat the deadly neurological disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. In the U.S. alone, there are roughly 15 new cases of ALS diagnosed each day and the disease is well-known for claiming the life of famed American baseball player, Lou Gehrig, nearly 80 years ago.

To do the Ice Bucket Challenge, one first challenges others to follow suit and the dump ice water on your head. The stunt raises money to research the debilitating disease, Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

“Right now, we are running -- countrywide with both our chapters and the national organization -- at about 15.6 million dollars,” said Barbara Newhouse, president of the ALS Association. 

With help from this viral video campaign, the association has raised millions in just a few weeks, which means it can fund more research and help more families affected by the disease.

“My father was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's last November. The disease immediately started ripping through his system at a very fast pace where his body deteriorated very quickly, and on April 27th, he passed away,” said Matt Lewis, the son of an ALS victim.

A few months later, the ice bucket campaign took off.  His friends challenged him, but Lewis wasn’t sure.

“I remember the last couple weeks thinking... I wasn't quite sure how I would feel if I was nominated.  Three of my friends nominated me.  I just thought this would be a great time to advertise everything,” said Lewis.

So he took the Ice Bucket Challenge, and in the first four hours after he posted, Matt's video had raised more than two thousand dollars.

Newhouse said social media have changed the way non-profits do business.

"What we've seen with the Ice Bucket Challenge... it's probably a game-changer for all of us in the fundraising world,” said Newhouse.

Nikki Usher, an assistant professor at George Washington University, agrees.

“If you want to be a player in the fundraising arena and to reach people that you haven't been able to reach before, you have to reach people who you're not immediately going to be connected to.  And one of the ways you do that is through social media,” said Usher.

Newhouse said the challenge now is to properly distribute the millions of dollars raised so far. That gives hope to people like Matt Lewis.

“[I’m a] big fan of what everyone's been doing with that.  It's raised a ton of awareness and a ton of money, and hopefully, that will keep staying strong going forward,” said Lewis.

The videos are everywhere, and they feature celebrities calling out everyone from their friends to President Barack Obama.  While some videos are outright failures, for most, it's a fun way to raise awareness about a disease. But for some people it means there's hope for the future, and for a cure. 

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid