In 2014, a major phenomenon swept the internet in a way that has rarely been rivaled since. It was titled the “Ice Bucket Challenge” and featured people on social media dumping ice cold water on their head and then nominating their friends to do the same. Unsurprisingly, the meaning of the original idea was quickly lost in the fun of the event. Many were critical of its merits.
Today, however, the effectiveness of the Ice Bucket Challenge was more than validated. The organization ALSA, which is dedicated to finding a cure, announced today that they made a major breakthrough in their ALS. What’s more is they credited their finding largely on the funds raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge.
The discovery was a gene known as NEK1, which researchers are now suggesting is among the most common genes associated with the degenerative disease ALS, which is also known as Lou Gherig’s Disease.
The Ice Bucket Challenge reportedly raised more than $115 million over the course of eight weeks, the vast majority of which went directly to funding ALS research.
The discovery comes as a major breakthrough in ALS research, a disease that had been frustrated scientists for years. The finding of the gene NEK1 leads many to hope that we can find a cure for the deadly degenerative disease that affects more than 30,000 Americans on a daily basis.
Not only did the finding validate those who have defended the virtues of the Ice Bucket Challenge, they show the strength that a viral social media campaign can have to change the world.
Read the ALSA press release here: