Ice Bucket Challenge nominations…

You might think you’ll see me doing the challenge here, pouring icy water on my head. Well, you’d be wrong. This post will be on a more negative note. In fact it takes on all these nominations lately and not just ALS one. To me, it all seems more like self promotion than actual improvement of awareness regarding this or any other disease or some other cause to the general public.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s great that people step together for a good cause, but does it have to be just a single cause? What makes ALS patients more important than those who have cancer? Alzheimer’s maybe? Malaria? Or how about HIV? Or some other degenerative disease that is just as terrifying as ALS? I don’t want to go into statistics, but I just have to. 5600 people are diagnosed with ALS each year (ALS Association source). Malaria alone takes 2,7 million human lives a year. 2,7 million! That’s more than my entire country of people wiped out every year by this disease alone. Cancer. A disease where no one can be safe from and where it doesn’t matter what age you are, be it a 8 year child or a 60 year old adult. Over 8 million deaths a year. Sure, not all diagnosed are fatal unlike ALS, but it’s such a huge number it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Imagine entire London population gone every year. That’s how many people die because of cancer every year. No one tossing icy cold buckets of water on head for them? Bummer…

Call me Mr. Negative, but these challenges only focus on ALS and aside from that, 90% of the focus is on “actors”  of the challenge. Hey, look at me, I’m someone famous and I don’t mind some extra publicity, I’m pouring icy water on my head and I’m somehow helping patients that have some disease with this. For me it just screams “attention whore” in a flashing red color with sirens. I didn’t mind Bill Gates doing it, because I know he’s been donating millions and millions through his foundation for various humanitarian causes, but there are many who just do it for self promotion. And that’s the part I hate.

With social media on the massive rise, there are other ways to raise awareness than in such “entertaining” way. And should be done as something slightly more general and not as specific for something that doesn’t even have the highest fatality rates. Just thinking aloud. Maybe my way of thinking is flawed and wrong, but that’s what I think. Instead of focusing on ALS alone, people should be made more aware of a deeper problem, a problem on a much lower level. The proteins and their understanding. Pretty much every disease starts with proteins going haywire. Be it cancer, ALS, Alzheimer, HIV or countless others. If we can finally properly understand how proteins change, fold and have a mean to predict and treat that, we could potentially eliminate all diseases including ALS (or at least give a fighting chance). Try to bring that more to general public attention and support researchers who work day and night on such projects. I think it’s a more important thing to focus on, which could bring more benefits to far more people, including those affected by ALS. Just a “small” thing to think about…

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