Former widow of Robert F. Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy, has been suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) for quite some time. Although ALS has presented quite a few challenges for the 96 year old Kennedy family matriarch, she hasn’t let the disease beat her or keep her down. Recently, she accepted the ALS Association Ice Bucket challenge, and nominated President Obama to also partake in the challenge.
“Welcome to Cape Cod, President [Barack] Obama. I nominate you,”
Although Ethel Kennedy needed a little help to raise the bucket over her head, she took the challenge like a champ.
Ethel Kennedy is proud of her participation in the Ice Bucket Challenge, and hopes others will join in on the campaign to spread the word about Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“a good campaign starts at the grassroots and makes its way to the very top. Our family is proud to join the wave of advocates championing increased awareness and funding for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).”
The ALS Association is sharing the Ice Bucket Challenge on their web site and is blown away that since the challenge was first presented, they have see over a 1,000 percent increase in donations, mostly due to celebrity endorsements.
The ALS Website explains the challenge:
“The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness. Those who refuse to take the challenge are asked to make a donation to the ALS charity of their choice.”
Although the Ice Bucket Challenge has brought awareness to ALS,via the support of celebrities like Ethel Kennedy, there are many other challenges that have also been featured in the media that have lead to less desirable results. The cold water challenge has claimed lives and permanently injured participants as they jump into icy water, sometimes in the street, frozen pools, or lakes and ponds with unknown depths. There is also the fire challenge that coerces participants to pour rubbing alcohol, or another flammable substance on their body and light the substance on fire, at times resulting in death and disfigurement.
Although it is doubtful that we will see Ethel Kennedy partake in the Cold Water Challenge or the Fire Challenge, it is quite refreshing to see a member of America’s royalty jump out of her comfort zone for a great cause, such as the ALS Association. There is no word on whether President Obama will accept the challenge. If he doesn’t, I hope Ethel Kennedy responds with a new video of her flapping her arms and bawking like a chicken.
[Photo Courtesy: The West Side Story]