Like many, I have watched in awe as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has spread like wildfire throughout our nation, likely touching everyone with access to any form of media. I have marveled as the highest politicians, the biggest celebrities, and the greatest athletes of our nation, along with various television shows, have engaged the challenge, often finding creative and funny ways to pour ice water on their heads. I’ve also read about the important controversial issues surrounding the campaign: concern for how the funds are used, the waste of clean water when many are without, the valid ethical concerns over the research, and more. Yet through it all, I’ve mostly been dumbfounded that a campaign for what was a somewhat unknown neurological disease has taken our nation by storm in such an unexpected and surprising way.
Like every other organization that supports awareness and research for a rare disease, we’re always looking for ways to get people passionate about our cause; the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has left many scratching their heads, wondering what “magic sauce” they used in their campaign that could be replicated. Therein, several organizations and causes have understandably been proactively trying to replicate the challenge with their own twist.
But what I find fascinating is that the campaign didn’t begin with executives for the ALS organization sitting around a conference table discussing ways to raise awareness—it was a grassroots idea by a couple people who were affected by the disease or had seen the affects of the disease and wanted to make a difference. It proved to be the perfect storm: the right situation, the right people, the right medium, the right idea, the right time, so on and so forth. And I imagine the people who began the campaign had absolutely no idea the impact it would have—they just cared deeply and did something about it.
This goes to show that one or two passionate people can make a difference. It shows how you never know when your own perfect storm might come, either personally or more broadly. And it reminds us to keep plodding away, doing what we’re called to do, moving out of our passions, and when we least expect it, exciting things may happen.
As an organization, Judson’s Legacy is not inclined to create its own twist on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Instead, we want to thank those who started the original challenge, because not only have you inspired a nation and raised awareness of ALS, a devastating disease, you have also indirectly brought attention to many, many other rare and horrific diseases, including Krabbe disease. In fact, donations to Judson’s Legacy have increased since the campaign began…and for that we are incredibly grateful! **
**A special thanks to all the people who have brought attention to Judson’s Legacy
through videos and blogs in connection to the Ice Bucket Challenge!