of The Today Show
There's a new and creative method of raising awareness
gaining momentum across the country. It's known as the ice bucket challenge, in which you dump a bucket of ice water over your own head and post recorded proof to social media.
Even celebrities, including Matt Lauer
and Martha Stewart, have accepted the challenge.
If you're brave enough to go for it, you're obligated to challenge friends and family to do the same within 24 hours of your post. If they don't meet the challenge, they have to donate to a specific charity.
The challenge has been employed to raise awareness for breast cancer, a children's camp, and, more recently, Lou Gehrig's disease (or ALS).
The latter began with in Boston with college baseball player Pete Frates, whose loved ones wanted to call attention to the debilitating disease. Twenty-nine-year-old Frates was diagnosed in 2012, and, sadly, is now paralyzed. He cannot speak and is nourished through a feeding tube.
Nancy and John Frates participated in the challenge in their son's honor, along with 200 supporters in Boston's Copley Square on August 7.
City Councillor Tito Jackson was one of the participants. "This is a little bit of discomfort for a second, but it's a lifetime of challenges for people with ALS," he said.
"It's just been wonderful visibility for the ALS community," ALS Association president Barbara Newhouse said. "It is absolutely awesome. It's crazy, but it's awesome, and it's working."
The phenomenon has already caused an impressive surge in donations for ALS.
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