You may have noticed the ice bucket challenge sweeping social media by storm recently.  At the moment it seems that no visit to facebook, twitter or youtube  is complete without watching the latest nominated celebratory have freezing ice-cold water poured over them.

What is the Ice-Bucket Challenge?

If you are unlucky lucky to be nominated you have 24-hours to either have a bucket of ice-cold water poured over your head which is filmed and you nominate someone else for the challenge OR you make a donation to the MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association) charity.

How did the ice bucket challenge start?

A US Golfer called Chris Kennedy was the first person to nominated by a friend back in July, and the first person to be associated with the challenge because he has a relative suffering from the disease. Since then the challenge has gone viral on the internet and millions have been donated to MND charities across the globe.

The ice-bucket challenge taken by Bill Gates is by far the best I’ve seen yet.  He was nominated by Mr Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and ended up designing his own water pouring contraption.  You can see his challenge here

What is MND?

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive disease that attacks the motor neurones in the brain and spinal cord, meaning messages gradually stop reaching the muscles, which leads to weakness and muscle wasting.

As some of you may already know my dad was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) just over a year ago.  I’d heard of MND but it’s only by watching my dad fade away week by week as the disease slowly takes away his ability to physically function that I’ve realised how horrific it actually is.

You can find out more about Motor Neurone Disease (MND) by visiting the Motor Nerone Disease Association (MNDA) website here

My dad was always a very active man.  He played football and badminton, loved to DIY and to potter around the garden.  Now he struggles to walk even with the use of a zimmer frame, can’t button his trousers so he wears elastic ones, has difficulty eating so you try to cook foods that are soft to chew, and his muscles in his lungs are weak enough now that he needs a machine to help him breath at night.  Everyone is affected differently.  With my dad it was his limbs first.  Down the road he will need a wheelchair.  Then he will eventually be stuck in a bed.  He will lose his ability to feed himself, to talk and breathing will require oxygen 24/7.  These are the sad realities of the disease.

imageThe disease is worse than cancer.  You have no hope through medical treatments.  There is only one drug (Riluzole) currently available to patients of MND and it’s only to help disease progression with average of 2-3 months extension of your life.  And it doesn’t work for all patients.  It was no benefit for dad.  So its palliative care all the way through his journey now.

Did I take the Challenge?

Well I suppose by now you are wondering now how I took the challenge.  Okay I’m just gonna put it out there…I didn’t do the ice-bucket over my head…I just made a donation to the charity.  But my sister did and fair play to her…




imageIf you didn’t get nomiated you can still donate by:

  • Text ICED55 £5 (or other amount) to 70070 (only available in the UK);
  • Visit the MNDA Just Giving page; or
  • Call 01604 611860 referencing the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’.

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