Have you watched a video from the now-viral ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge?
Have you cringed at the thought of how cold that dousing must feel for the good-hearted coach or athlete in the video?
The simplest gestures make for the best raisers of funds and awareness, and sports has found a great use for the ice-bucket dousing. The clichéd gesture used to celebrate the greatest victories is now used to combat one of the cruelest and hardest diseases to defeat.
This is how ALSA.org describes a disease that affects as many as 30,000 people in the U.S. at any given time: a “progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.”
Can’t say that I’ve known an ALS sufferer well, but it would be nice to douse folks in white lab coats for finding a cure someday soon.
For now, it’s good that sports have found a simple-but-effective way to help the cause. The Band Perry has challenged Alabama football coach Nick Saban.
I bet even Saban could smile through that dousing.
Sports Columnist Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter @jmedley_star.