Have you taken or challenged someone to take the ALS Ice Bucket challenge yet? This amazing Social media campaign to increase awareness for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease has raised over 22 million dollars in just 3 weeks and has affected celebrities, sports stars and ordinary people to the point that they are willing to dump a bucket of ice cold water on their heads to help wake people up and take action by donating money to this cause.
The campaign was started by Pete Frates (www.petefrates.com) and his family on July 29th. The 29 year old Frates learned he had the disease in 2012 and has been on a mission ever since to bring awareness to a disease for which there is no cure.
This cause has affected me not only because of Pete Frate’s story but also because I watched my Dad suffer and die from ALS 15 years ago. The average life expectancy someone has who is diagnosed with this disease is 3-5 years. My Dad was gone 6 months after he was diagnosed. We almost didn’t have time to even process what was happening. He was 76. We feel blessed to have had him that long.
A guy like Pete at 29 still has his whole life in front of him. Well, he did until 2 years ago. But what I admire is how he is choosing to live out his remaining time. By affecting so many other people in a positive way that through the donations made during the ice bucket challenge, a cure for this horrible disease might come even one day sooner.
And while people are donating they are smiling and laughing. A bucket of ICE dumped on someone’s head will do that….and so will free donuts, hugs and other BIGG things we can do to affect others. BIGG stands for BIG IDEAS for the GREATER GOOD. It’s a challenge that Chris Rosati who was also diagnosed with ALS 3 years ago invited kids in his community to participate in.
Rosati, a 42 year old father of 2 decided that he wanted to make the most of his remaining time on this earth making people smile. So he publicly plotted through Facebook to steal a Krispy Kreme donut truck and drive around giving out free donuts. Krispy Kreme caught wind of the idea and decided to provide Chris with a bus stocked with donuts, complete with a driver to help him in his quest. He spent the next year passing out donuts to schools, children’s hospitals and cancer wards. Then he decided to challenge local kids to have fun making other people smile by having them think up and video BIGG random acts of kindness throughout the year and show them at a movie premier. It was a huge success and Chris hopes it will become an annual event - whether he is here or not.
Chris Rosati said that dying has taught him how to live better. “Do what you can to make people smile while you still have the chance…because if you can’t make people smile, this whole thing is a waste.”
A quote like that should affect and inspire each one of us to do something BIGG today. The ICE bucket challenge is a great place to start. Who knows what BIGG things you’ll come up with tomorrow and what cause YOU will take up to affect others? http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html
Will Adamczyk is a Certified Financial Planner professional with Ramsburg Insurance & Financial Services, He focuses on Retirement and Income Planning for the Baby Boomer generation.