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While some folks have been complaining that this whole icy bucket challenge is a trend that takes away from the real issue, Taylor Swift proved that wrong by taking the “plunge” for the money. Both she and another of her BFFs, Jaime King, held up wads of 100 dollar bills to show that they were giving a load of dough for the cause.
The cause everyone is talking about, either complaining about the water stunt taking away from it or applauding those celebs who are participating in the awareness exercise and donating money as well, is ALS.
This neurodegenerative disease is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) progressively affects the nerve cells in the spinal cord and the brain. ALS then spreads through the system affecting the muscles and eventually causes paralysis and death.
According to MTV News, around fifteen cases of ALS are diagnosed every day in the United States alone. The Ice Bucket Challenge began with the participant pouring the freezing water over their own head and then challenging someone else to do the same within 24 hours.
The idea was that if the person failed to carry out the icy challenge they then needed to donate money to the cause or like Taylor Swift, do both, by taking the plunge for the money instead of an either or scenario.
As with any awareness campaign, the ALS challenge had to start somewhere and there are conflicting claims as to just who started this whole freezing water bucket shower that so many celebrities are taking part in. Neither Taylor Swift, nor Jaime King had an active part in the beginning of this challenge. The whole thing started without any help from “celebs” apparently
The Los Angeles Times says that Peter Frates, a 29 year-old ALS patient came up with the idea. Frates, who was once the Boston College baseball team Captain, based it on an after game “ritual” and he challenged some local sports figures to take part. This was July 15 and it spread from that area.
According to Lynn Aaronson, who is the executive director of the ALS Association in Massachusetts, the Internet via Twitter, took these local challenges and blew them up to the viral status that they enjoy now.
The Wall Street Journal says that the whole thing started not with Frates, but with golfer Chris Kennedy. They say that Chris took the first plunge and then challenged his cousin Jeannette Senerchia. Her husband was diagnosed with ALS 11 years ago and she was filmed getting drenched with the bucket of ice water the day after Kennedy. Chris, by the way did his stunt on July 15 as well.
Apparently, Jennette’s Facebook coverage of the event interacted with Pat Quinn, a New York ALS sufferer who challenged friends and family in Greece, Ireland and Florida to take part. Then, Quinn’s Facebook intersected with Peter Frates and the rest, as they say, is history.
Such luminaries as Robert Downey Jr have taken part in the ALS challenge, Downey, actually challenged Chris Hemsworth and his The Judge co-star Vincent D’Onofrio to take part.
Taylor Swift, who is well known for her active participation in anything charity oriented, got her BFF Jaime King and a group of other folks, to douse themselves with the icy water for the money and then went on to challenge other celebs to do the same. Taylor’s picks were Emma Stone, Selena Gomez, and Ed Sheeran, while King’s picks were Lena Dunham, Topher Grace and the cast of Hart of Dixie. With Dunham’s proclivity to do show skin at the drop of a hat, it will be interesting to see if she performs the challenge in the altogether. Fans of Swift can see her below, fully clothed, taking part in the challenge.
By Michael Smith