The PhoenixSouth Staff Takes On The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The PhoenixSouth staff is a close-knit group. So it only makes sense that when our Property Manager was nominated for the #ALSIceBucketChallenge, she preemptively nominated the rest of the office staff to participate as well. We closed at 5:00 on Thursday in order to complete the challenge.

We admit it can be fun to jump on the bandwagon. But to tell you the truth, we were pretty excited to promote awareness of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease). As such, this blog post will not be about our apartments, but about the disease and the challenge that has raised not only awareness, but millions of dollars for research.

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that damages and kills the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons are destroyed, and in some cases, people with this disease suffer from complete paralyses in the later stages. The muscles that cannot be used essentially waste away. After a diagnosis, the life expectancy of patients is generally about 2-5 years.

Life expectancies and early symptoms range by person, but more than half experience muscle weakness as one of the early indicators. Generally this weakness begins at the extremities. Other symptoms that may appear include twitching muscles, cramping muscles, difficultly speaking and projecting and in later stages, difficulty swallowing and breathing, and of course partial or complete paralysis. The progression of ALS can remit or pause, but researchers and doctors do not yet have an explanation for it.

Only about 5%-10% of cases of ALS are inheritable, but when they are it is a dominant trait. The rest of the cases are ‘sporadic’, meaning they can affect anyone.

So who is the ALS Association (ALSA)? The ALSA is the organization most benefiting from the Ice Bucket Challenge. As of August 27th, they have raised over 94 million dollars, nearly 4 times their annual earnings last year. They define themselves as “the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front”. Through research, partnering with the US government, and providing resources and care to those already diagnosed with ALS, their goal is to “[build] hope and [enhance] quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure”.

Here’s how the #IceBucketChallenge works: You watch a hilarious video of your friend being doused in icy water. They then call out a list of names: other friends they ‘nominate’ for the challenge. If your name is on that list, according to the ‘rules’, you have 24 hours to complete the challenge yourself (and preferably donate $10 or more to the cause) or you forfeit and pay a whopping $100. Should you decide to take the challenge, you must fill a bucket with ice and water, set up a video camera, and have a good friend dump the cold water on your head. After the shock wears off, nominate all of your friends and frenemies!

While most people donate specifically to the ALSA, there are certainly other non-profits that exist to help those with ALS, and you would by no means break any rules by choosing which charity you help.

Information gathered from http://www.alsa.org/ . (Also the recommended donation site for those who choose to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge.)

More interesting reads and videos of the #IceBucketChallenge:
http://mashable.com/2014/08/19/als-ice-bucket-challenge-donations/

To see our video, be sure to check us out on Facebook!

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