Tag Archives: als

Ice Bucket Challenge stirs controversy in China


The “Ice Bucket Challenge” ─ meant to raise funds for research into a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ─ has come to China, only to raise controversy.

Lei Jun, founder of fast-growing smartphone maker Beijing Xiaomi Technology, said Monday on his Weibo microblogging account that he had accepted a “nomination” for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, becoming one of the first Chinese nationals to have a bucket of ice water poured onto his head to raise awareness of the disease.

The challenge involves a participant choosing between dousing themselves with ice water and making a small donation to the ALS Association or else opting out of the water and making a larger donation instead.

Lei announced Sunday that he would perform the challenge the next day and invited the public to offer suggestions of whom he should nominate to be the next three participants.

But Lei’s move was apparently preempted by Peter Yijia Liu, founder of handset maker Oneplus Tech, who said he had initiated his own ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, uploading a video on Weibo of him pouring a bucket of ice water onto his head. Liu nominated three other participants from the Internet industry, including Zhou Hongyi, chairman of 360 Technology.

But both Lei and Liu came in for criticism on social media, as some commentators accused the pair of indulging in a marketing exercise rather than trying to help find a cure for ALS.

Some said Liu’s dumping water on his head was merely “for his own amusement.”

Likewise, Victor Koo ─ founder of the YouTube-like website Youku.com ─ performed a toned-down version of the challenge by pouring two cups of water on his head at the opening ceremony of a local video festival. This too drew criticism, with some calling the move a meaningless gesture as Koo mentioned ALS in subsequent posting on Weibo but failed to explain what it was.

A report Tuesday in the Beijing Times newspaper offered some mild criticism of the stunts. It quoted yet another industry executive ─ iiMedia Research Group Chief Executive Zhang Yi ─ as saying: “Charity is a long-term and continuous thing. Just keep your mind on it. There is no need to hype it up.”

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge lends positive attention to serious disease


Lou Gehrig  would have gotten a great laugh at all the ‘ice bucket challenge’ and attention that took his life. The New York Yankee legend became a popular figure head for ALS after being diagnosed with the disease in 1941, just shy of 38 years old. Describing himself as the ‘luckiest man alive’ after being diagnosed with ALS, Gehrig gave his remaining years, post voluntary retirement, to bring awareness to ALS. Many people do not realize the seriousness and need to draw attention to this debilitating neurological disease and the much needed help to find a cure for the over 5,000 plus victims diagnosed annually in the U.S.

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease, neurodegenerative disease

A=No. Myo = Muscle. Trophic = Nourishment

When a ‘muscle’ has no nourishment, it atrophies or wastes away. The progression and process of ALS slowly debilitates the connection between the brain and spinal cord, which work cohesively to communicate to the ‘voluntary muscles’ throughout the body. As ALS progresses, the muscle communication declines eventually resulting in paralysis. Muscle ‘atrophy’ and become smaller, weaker as the nutrition to the muscles declines.

“The body has many kinds of nerves. There are those involved in the process of thinking, memory, and of detecting sensations (such as hot/cold, sharp/dull), and others for vision, hearing, and other bodily functions. The nerves that are affected when you have ALS are the motor neurons that provide voluntary movements and muscle power. Examples of voluntary movements are your making the effort to reach for the phone or step off a curb; these actions are controlled by the muscles in the arms and legs.

The heart and the digestive system are also made of muscle but a different kind, and their movements are not under voluntary control. When your heart beats or a meal is digested, it all happens automatically. Therefore, the heart and digestive system are not involved in ALS. Breathing also may seem to be involuntary. Remember, though, while you cannot stop your heart, you can hold your breath – so be aware that ALS may eventually have an impact on breathing.

The heart and lungs are referred to as ‘involuntary muscles’, thus the reason why they can continue to function with ALS.

What causes ALS?

Chromosome 21 – There is a possible genetic link in defect of chromosome 21, where the condition reoccurs in 20% of families and 2% overall.

Environmental exposure may be linked to ALS

Many factors may be attributed to ALS

What treatment is available for ALS?

Currently, the FDA has approved ‘Riluzole’ to treat ALS, delaying the progression of the disease. Devices and therapy are also used to help treat ALS.

To learn more about ALS visit ALSA’s website at www.alsa.org

To take the ‘ice bucket challenge’ fill a bucket with icy, cold water, get a friend (or enemy who needs to get you back….) and have another friend/family member record you taking the challenge. Send out your recorded ice bucket challenge to all your friends via social media and challenge them (or call out individual names) to take the challenge, too! It’s ‘clean’ fun for a good cause!