A Different Kind of Ice Bucket Challenge

This post, written by third year medical school student Jeremiah White, first appeared on Transforming Medical School, the student blog of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville

We’re nearing the two-year anniversary of that time when countless videos flooded your social media feed of people dumping buckets of ice water on themselves—the Ice Bucket Challenge, it was called—all to raise awareness for a disease called ALS, otherwise known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. You may have even participated in the challenge, as my medical school did. I remember the afternoon prepping for it. My inner junior-high boy came out in full force, trying to scavenge around the house for the biggest “bucket” I could find. Because, of course, if I was going to do this, I needed to do it right: with as much freezing-cold water as I could somewhat reasonably dump over my head. I searched the house high and low. I needed something big. “We’ve got a large mixing bowl in the kitchen,” I thought. Bigger. “I could use that cleaning bucket under the sink.” BIG. GER. “The trash can. Perfect.” Yes, I emptied (and cleaned) my trash can and filled it all the way with ice and water. Even threw a little salt in there to make it super cold. I lined up with my colleagues, and one-by-one in wave-like fashion we proceeded to pour the contents of our buckets over ourselves.


ANNOUNCING Every Drop Adds Up

Pat Quinn is a co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. He was diagnosed with ALS in March 2013.

Last year, I accepted a Webby Award in New York City for co-founding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Acceptance speeches are limited to just five words, so when I went on stage I said:

“Every August Until A Cure.”

Pat Quinn

Since then, this mantra has become a rallying cry of the ALS community. It’s been awesome to see the progress we’ve enabled since the Challenge soaked the world in August 2014.