To begin this post, I’d like to express my utmost gratitude to Mr. Pravin Nair, the tall and slender President of AIESEC in University Technology Petronas for granting me the honour by nominating me for the ALS awareness ice bucket challenge. Although I know I sendiri cari pasal. Lol, sorry Nicole.
That macho look!
Well, to continue this post, I have to express my deepest apologies to Pravin AND Nicole because the duck has to decline this ice bucket challenge. Yikes, sorry for ducking out!
Truth be told, I’m sort of keen to accept the ice bucket challenge because an ALS patient confessed that every single challenge accepted and performed moved him and it meant a lot to them. Also because having a bucket of water poured over your head already feels good, what else with an ice bucket head-pour? I asked my sister if she would help me record it, but then she reminded me of my condition.
With my heart condition alone I wouldn’t mind with a few steps of precaution. But freshly recovered from a mild injury and currently on antibiotics due to dental infection, I am more than just wary to take the risk this time. Oops. Sorry, guys! Pay back next time alright?
So, due to such a bummer I became of this meaningful challenge, I do what I do best; I blog it out loud.
ALS; acronym of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is one of the many kinds of neurodegenerative disease. As the name ‘neurodegenerative’ suggests; your brain, the main mechanism that controls you, slowly stops functioning. And slowly, step by step, it takes you away from your life.
You stop being able to dance, run, walk, sing, talk and finally, breathe.
The first time I got to know about this disease, or at least similar, was through One Litre of Tears. The girl was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease too, but I’m not quite sure if it is ALS too. And I got to know it better through my favourite book, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It is said that Mitch Albom, in his own way, has educated the world about ALS.
Here is an excerpt from his book.
Source: Mitch Albom Official Facebook page.
This ALS Ice bucket challenge awareness campaign, I must say is the most successful awareness raising campaign I have ever seen. Starting from United States, it went viral around the world. Of course, credits to the power of social media and influence of celebrities. It set off a trend for a good cause.
However, it also saddens me that there are countless of people doing the challenge for the sake of fun and for the sake of; “Because I was nominated and I want to nominate someone else.”
You know what I mean.
It got me feeling so helpless too when you hear ridiculous people saying; “Accept this challenge OR donate 100USD.”
It is not a matter of OR, but a matter of truly understanding what ALS is, why your action matters, how to do your part. But for most people, this is not it.
Regardless, this campaign along with this challenge has gain success! This disease has yet to find any cure, but knowing that we do care, I hope it paints the days of ALS patients a little brighter ! 🙂
If by now you’re wondering; “Eh, woman, you talk so much, don’t want to accept then donate la.”
Well, meanwhile I am declining this ice bucket challenge, I’m taking this nomination as a calling to act. Taking one of my friend as example, I choose to not donate to alsa.org because like she said, it has gain much attention and donations are flooding in. Thus, I would donate to two causes that I’m passionate about and hope that it bring some light to this two cause and awareness within you about this two cause.
The first one is Teach for Malaysia. One that I am passionate about and want to work towards joining it.
Another one is a cause for congenital heart diseases in Malaysia as I am one who is going through such defect. However, I still couldn’t find the channel of such support community in Malaysia and never heard of one, I shall ask my doctor on my next appointment. If you know one, do let me know! Another chunk of information, as common as heart diseases are, most people are not aware of Congenital Heart Disease are the most common defect among newborn babies.
Source: Jump Start Your Heart
There is effort of raising awareness of CHDs in the states but not yet in Malaysia. At least, my family didn’t have any support group or community to turn to 22 years back when they needed one.
Last but not least, instead of nominating(which I obviously won’t since I declined the challenge) three people, I’d like to express a token of personal appreciation to some people who I find amazing.
If you still remember Sarah that I blogged about her going bald for a cancer cause. Yes! She is the friend I was referring to above. She accepted the challenge and also donated. But she made a wise decision to donate to a cause that she feels more passionate about and a cause that also needs attention. Good job, Sarah!
Next is my sister, Mrs Er. An unsung heroin where she quietly donated to ALS even before it began going viral in Malaysia on her own accord and passion. Not only just ALS but also World Vision. So proud of you.
As youth, it is not only our responsibility to be aware of certain condition and issues, it is also our responsibility to take action and make things better.