Bill Gates performing the ALS ice bucket challenge
PETALING JAYA: The ALS ice bucket challenge has gone viral on social media, with both celebrities and regular folk dumping ice water on themselves to create awareness of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The challenge dares participants to be video recorded as they pour iced water on themselves. The challenge has two forms.
In the first, a participant announces his or her acceptance of the challenge before pouring ice into a bucket of water. The bucket is then lifted overhead and emptied over the participant’s head. The person can then send out challenges to other people who must comply within 24 hours.
The second form of the challenge requires the participant to donate US$10 to ALS research if they pour the ice water over their head or US$100 if they do not.
Among the celebrities who have so far participated in this challenge are talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr. and singers Gwen Stefani and Selena Gomez. Even Steven Spielberg has taken part!
Robert Downey Jr. uploaded his video on Twitter with the status “Hemsworth! D’Onofrios! U have 24hrs to comply!! #ALSicebucketchallenge”, effectively throwing challenges to Thor star Chris Hemsworth and actor Vincent D’Onofrio and his son, Elias.
Oprah Winfrey, who was challenged by Tyler Perry, agreed to perform the ice bucket challenge by uploading a video of her preparing for it with the note “Challenge accepted @TylerPerry. Ice bucket challenge coming soon”.
A short while later she uploaded another video on instagram challenging Spielberg and actors Hellen Mirren and Manish Dayal “in the name of ALS”.
Footballers like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Balloteli, Neymar and Vincent Kompany have also got in on the action.
Balotelli accepted the challenge, nominating colleagues Sulley Muntari and Micah Richard.
The challenge is quickly gaining popularity on social media in Malaysia with many celebrities here expected to take part.
The Star columnist Niki Cheong has posted a video of him being drenched on his blog.
“Yesterday, my sister’s childhood friend Dr Farina tagged me on Facebook, nominating me for the challenge. I’ve got a bit of a cold at the moment so the timing wasn’t perfect but I thought, what the heck,” he wrote.
Cheong added that he’s planning to donate to ALS research and urged readers of his blog to do the same.
The writer went on to pose the challenge to five other people (because Dr Farina had named five as well), including Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and The Star Online columnist Davina Goh.
ALS is defined by the ALS Association as a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of motor neurons, which reach from the brain to the spinal cord, and from the spinal cord to the muscles, eventually leads to their death.
With muscle action affected, patients could become totally paralysed as a result of the disease.