Monday, August 25, 2014

ALS, My Mum and My Ice Bucket Challenge

I know some of you find the Ice Bucket Challenge silly or childish. A part of me could probably have done so only if my mother weren't suffering from ALS.

She got diagnosed with ALS a year ago. As you can imagine it hasn't been easy since then. Not for her, not for us... I guess, only a fool would think that one is immune to bad things in life. But we are good at pushing away thoughts about bad possibilities. You hear these things around you. Terrible accidents, cancer, heart attacks... Then one day, this dark shadow, this bringer of bad news, is right next to you, in your house. You don't hear it from a friend or an acquaintance but it's your mother or father telling you about their condition.

Then you don't know what to say... for a while, at least. Normally, you never think of inquiring about your parents' or one of your family members life expectancy. You try to find encouraging words, ways to say "hang in there. Be strong. We'll fight it together." But in the case of ALS the fight is a downhill one. Many times, I envied, in my ignorance, cancer patients and their relatives. Just for their hope, their hope of beating their disease. Unfortunately ALS is not like that. It is a debilitating disease. Hope is not about defeating it but only about slowing down the worsening of the patient's condition.

Of course, this is the case today. I'm sure medicine and science will overcome ALS and many other things, given time and resources. This is where the initiatives such as Ice Bucket Challenge become very important. Not only they raise public awareness about these terrible diseases, they also create much sought out resources thanks to people's generous donations. So, please donate generously. You may be helping a relative or a friend who's going to be an ALS patient in the future.

Stay healthy. Stay happy.

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