I am so happy all this attention for ALS has come from an accidental, viral social media game. It means (for the most part) people are open to learning new things and that we can find the good in people. It’s also an impressive example that good can come out of my beloved digital world. I am equally very excited for everyone who suffers from this disease. This new surge of money will mean research and then answers, and that can mean new ideas and hope. Again, I am SO GLAD for this cause. I don’t want the fun to end! We are just now getting tapped to do ours. (More proof of the lasting effect of the “trickle-down” effect). And of course, I felt the need to explain how we are putting our spin on the challenge. Naturally, our cause is epilepsy and I think that’s ok. (Click photo to watch video)
I don’t want this to seem like I’m jealous or greedy, because I get it, not everyone can give to every charity out there. Not everyone can even make time to do a little something for a few charities. But everyone CAN become more educated on as many issues as possible. A better understanding of how others live in the most challenging situations can be a great way to grow and become a more compassionate, more forgiving, more loving person. You wouldn’t believe what it can do to you when you meet someone who’s trapped in a different world.
I could never imagine how it must feel to live with ALS. I really don’t know how to show my compassion and sorrow for their struggles. But I DO know what it’s like to live with something that no one can understand, that has very little research. Epilepsy is many times referred to as one of the silent suffering illnesses because you can appear totally normal, so no one suspects anything is wrong with you. As opposed to the physically debilitating ones, people don’t stop to help because they don’t know you might need it.
And that’s why I’m so happy for ALS. We all need more compassionate people. So if even 10% of people who have done this chilling challenge are reading up on the disease, then hooray. The next time they see someone in need, hopefully they’ll make eye contact, hold open a door — maybe they can make a change.
Because in both our cases, the need for more research is a painful reality. And I believe research for one cause could mean advances for us all.