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This morning my husband, daughters and I each took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I can think of worse ways to spend 15 minutes on a Saturday.

There’s been a lot of curmudgeonly talk about this latest social media phenom, and I’ll admit to feeling a little icy toward it myself in recent days, as my Facebook feed clogged with sappy, happy, insipid videos. But when my freshman college roommate challenged me yesterday afternoon, I knew I’d do it. And now that I have, I’m really glad.

Yes, there are probably much better ways to educate the public at large about serious diseases and disorders, better ways to raise money, better ways to treat serious stuff the way it should be treated. I’m not into pink candy for breast cancer or even Buddy Walks to celebrate Down syndrome. I think the best way of educating people about my daughter Sophie, who happens to have Down syndrome, is to simply live our lives (sometimes out loud on social media) and hope she can teach a few people firsthand about her extra 21st chromosome.

I imagine it’s not really the same for people with ALS.

If the ice bucket thing isn’t the best way to raise awareness about and money for ALS, it can’t be the worst. Yes, our videos this morning were as trite as any I’ve seen, but what you didn’t see was the family discussion we had about ALS before and after, or the check we’ll write. There was a real teaching moment when Sophie realized this was about something other than Down syndrome — that other people have different kinds of challenges in life.

And it was a good reminder that sometimes, we just need to get over ourselves.

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One Response to “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Don’t Knock It Till You’ve Tried It”

  1. I saw videos of you guys doing it, and aside from raising awareness about ALS, it looked like everybody was having a blast!!!!!

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