The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral in the summer of 2014 with everyone from movie stars to leaders taking up the challenge as a means of raising donations for the disease. Two years later the challenge is going trending again for all the right reasons !!
The challenge had people dunking a bucket of ice water over their heads to gather donations and then nominate others to do the same. Many people did the challenge just because it was the “in” thing and post a video with little or no knowledge of the actual cause of the challenge.
Many deemed the challenge as silly and offensive to the people who were affected by the disease. Whatever the case be, the main aim of the campaign was realized when it raised over 100 million dollars in just a month and helped in funding a number of researchers.
ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease which affects the nervous system and weakens the muscles impacting physical function was thought to be incurable till now, but researchers at the University of Massachusetts recently got a breakthrough by the discovery of a gene that may hold the key to treating both genetic and sporadic ALS.
This gene called the NEK1 was discovered under Project MinE, which was funded by the donations raised through the ice bucket challenge. This gene could lead to new possibilities in understanding and cure the disease which is still a mystery to science.
” The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled us to secure funding from new sources in new parts of the world. This transatlantic collaboration supports our global gene hunt to identify the genetic drives of ALS,” said Bernard Muller, founder of Project MinE and ALS patient.
ALS affects over 4-8 people in 100,000 and finding a cure would be a major advancement in curing a yet unknown disease.
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