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EDITORIAL: Our Ice Bucket Challenge

When members of the Times-Mirror family poured buckets of ice water over their heads last week, they were thinking about matters more important than getting wet or engaging in a social media fad. They were thinking about their families and friends.

Kathy Davis, who coordinates the process for creating advertisements that run in the Times-Mirror, stepped forward amid the serious fun to remind us that her uncle and a fellow employee’s father were suffering from ALS.

It was Kathy’s poignant moment that touched all of us participating in the Times-Mirror’s Ice Bucket challenge http://www.facebook.com/pages/Loudoun-Times-Mirror/16779603787). It also touched those who watched it.

John Wood, the CEO of Telos, called to say that Kathy’s words touched his family, too. Woods’ mother-in-law has the disease.

Many community leaders and elected officials have called us, too, about our small role in the phenomenon that’s sweeping the nation. Each has had a story of their own to tell.
Like other Ice Bucket Challenges, readers and Facebook friends continue to spread our story and yours through their social personal networks.

Some lead to a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h07OT8p8Oik created by Anthony Carbajal, a 26-year-old who was recently diagnosed with ALS. Like so many victims, the disease runs in Anthony’s family. His grandmother had it, his mother currently lives with it and he himself was diagnosed just five months ago. Watch the entire video.

Skeptics and cynics have criticized the Ice Bucket Challenge as stunt publicity, a silly social media fad that allows people to feel good about themselves without really doing much. Carbajal’s video will change your mind. So will our Page One story next week about how our community has responded to the challenge.

Whether fun, serious or both, the challenge has raised awareness beyond imagination about a rare condition previously known to a few by its association to baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig. Last month marked the 75th anniversary of Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man Alive” speech at Yankee Stadium in 1939.

It has taken 75 years to raise only a few million dollars for ALS research. Since the Ice Bucket Challenge more than $50 million has been raised by the ALS Association, which supports research into the degenerative condition.

We were proud to get wet in the Ice Bucket Challenge.


See Sam Stein: “Lawmakers Who Cut Funds For ALS Research Take Ice Bucket Challenge For ALS Research” &

“Since 2011, House Republicans have cut NIH funding by billions. And you thought dumping ice water on your head was cold.” @john_dingell

Personal stories touching yes. Is it wasteful to dump h20?  Just prefer Carole King’s method = over stream

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