Is Social Media Powerful Enough to Cure Disease?

I’ve witnessed the growth, influence, and power of social media since it’s inception and it never ceases to amaze me.  Social media delivers news from around the world in an instant, keeps us in touch with family and friends, and can raise awareness for social causes and disease. Most recently, the #icebucketchallenge has been in the spotlight raising $53.3 million as of Friday, August 22, 2014.  In contrast, this time last year donations were only at $2.2 million.  The social media campaign, Ice Bucket Challenge, can be credited for this more than a 2,400% increase of donations.

ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis , is a progressive neurological disease.  The ALS Association is particularly near and dear to my heart because it is genetic and runs in my husband’s family.  Ray’s grandmother, Ruby Swinehart, whom I never had the great pleasure of meeting, and his great grandfather, Leonard Roush, both died of the terminal illness.  It is a real fear that our family lives every day.  That at any given moment my in-laws or my immediate family (husband and children) could be diagnosed with ALS at which time they will re-live the experiences of caring for and watching pass away, Grandma Ruby & Grandpa Roush.  ALS can can be a very sudden onset, strike at any moment, and change a family forever.  It is amazing how many people have told me they didn’t know what ALS even was until #theicebucketchallenge.

Moving on, and thanks for listening, let’s talk about the details of this challenge.

The way it works is this:  You are challenged by a friend on social media to pour a bucket of ice cold water over your head in order to raise awareness of ALS.  If you comply and perform this stunt, you contribute $10 to the charity.  If you decide you’d rather not endure that type of torture, you pay $100.00 to The ALS Association.  It’s a ripple effect as each participant then posts their own video on their social media accounts and calls out, or challenges, 5 more people.  The task must be completed within 24 hours. Here’s my video, I think my husband enjoyed it a little more than I did!  Look how bored he is while I talk!  haha

The question is this:  Can social media cure a genetic disease by raising enough awareness and money to fund the research for a cure?  Bottom line, personally I am amazed by what a reach and impact social media advances on to each and every day.  I am fascinated to see what comes next, not with this challenge per say, but with the impact of social media on our world.

Now, here is the biggest question of all.  Have you taken the challenge?  If not, consider yourself as called out.  You’ve officially been nominated.  Post your videos below!  Remember, you have 24 hours!


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