If I had written about the ALS ice bucket challenge eight weeks ago, no one would have a clue as to what I was talking about.
Of course, the awareness and fundraising idea became a viral hit on social networks. There can be no argument that the campaign has been an amazing success. Subjectively, we can see an overwhelming wave of awareness that has grown and grown over the past two months. Objectively, we can point to the funds raised by the ALSA, which exceed $100 million and are still climbing. It has been a joy to watch such a simple idea make such a big difference.
The wonderful thing for me, which mirrors the campaign, is the awareness I see increasing among my friends and in my community, and the generosity my family has been shown in the past two months.
Every once in a while I get a message from someone asking how they can donate some money to my family. The donation - and every donation - is humbling, uplifting, and emotional to receive. Every time.
I've seen a huge number of ice bucket challenges performed in my honor. They, too, are humbling, uplifting, and emotional to see.
Friends in the UK, some of whom I hadn't spoken to since high school, did the ice bucket challenge in droves.
My cousin, Chris, even completed a 70 mile sponsored bike ride, in the middle of the night, to Brighton.
So here's my ice bucket challenge.
I'd like to dedicate it to Jimmy 'Jinky' Johnstone, the Johnstone family, and particularly James Johnstone. I'd also like to use the video to thank everyone, like the ladies at The Salon, who have done so much to support my family. Thank you.
We've decided to put the money we have received towards a backup electricity generator for our house. We live in the country, and are prone to power cuts. Given the growing list of electrical equipment I rely on, it feels like a sensible investment.
Thank you for making this peace of mind possible, and thank you for raising awareness about ALS.