As the ALS Ice Bucket challenge has buzzed around the internet, our kids have seen quite a number of the videos. Then one day I got challenged on Facebook to do the challenge and Katie decided she really wanted to do it too. Scott wanted to dump water on my head and was also interested in participating himself. R took the opportunity to explain the effects of the disease to the kids.
It was even more meaningful for us because we know someone who is currently suffering from ALS. We have gone to church with this woman for many years, and now she lives next door to R's parents. As the disease has advanced, she has lost the ability to speak clearly and mostly communicates through written notes. It has been sweet to see how her children and her husband have rallied around her. There is no treatment for ALS, so her unaffected mind feels increasingly trapped in an uncooperative body. She has hoped for 3 things:
1) That she might live to see a cure.
2) That she might help others suffering from the disease.
3) That another illness might take her before ALS does.
R's mom hosted us in her backyard for an ice-bucket and pool party, and her neighbour Cheryl came out with her family to their backyard. They did their ice bucket challenges and then they watched us do ours. Poor Katie got blocked out by the bigger people when it was time to dump water on my head. I fixed that by letting her dump it right in my face afterwards. She and Scotty were so brave to do their buckets with almost 20 people watching them. That night she said in her prayers that she was glad that she did the bucket challenge even though she was scared. So cute.
Cheryl couldn't say anything, and she didn't want to be in our videos, but she was very pleased to witness the whole thing. She gave me a high five afterwards. She feels like people everywhere are more aware of ALS and that one of her hopes is really coming true. There has been some criticism of the Ice Bucket Challenge in the media, because some people don't really know what it is all about. Well, in this instance, it was very meaningful, and I think we will all remember this for a long time.