Thursday, August 28, 2014

Viral Shmiral

I'm going to weigh in on something.

Marketing gimmicks are nothing new. Fatal or horrific diseases are not rare as a whole. Doing something silly because it's a viral thing is anything but uncommon.

HOWEVER, what could possibly be wrong with throwing ice water on your head if

1) it gets attention for a disease that rarely gets attention and begins to open discussion about what it is?

I for one knew about ALS before the viral bucket challenge, but really didn't know what it actually was. Then I saw this video:

Now I know.

2) it gets people to donate? Everything about money is a numbers game. This is why call centers work. You know that irritating call you get right when you sit down to dinner in which the local newspaper tries to get you to subscribe? Or the vacation time-share condo lady claims you've won a free trip? Sure YOU hung up, but she doesn't care. Do you know why? Because the more people she calls, the more likely she will snare a sale and that's the whole point. So what if not everyone donates? At least it's on the minds of many and guess what? Some people are donating which could never really be a bad thing. I mean do you want to be the one to look an ALS patient in the eye and tell them the money donated to research about their disease is a waste? I wouldn't ever call any money donated to a good cause as a waste.

I've seen articles saying there are other diseases killing more people that need more attention than this one. Yup, you're right. But does that mean we should be upset that this one is getting attention and money? The guy in that video certainly wouldn't feel that way.

A much beloved family member of mine had a disease that is most often extremely fatal and quickly so. He was lucky enough to be brought onto a trial treatment and it so far, has worked for him. He's been given a second chance and I for one, am grateful he did. I am happy that the treatment center he received the trial treatment at had the money for the research they did.

So when the temptation to be negative arises, maybe you could ask yourself, if someone in my family had this disease, would I be happy about this silly viral thing? If you can answer yes, then maybe you could just smile and watch the funny videos and be happy that sick people are getting research money that might someday help them.

In a time when negativity has found a giant incubator called the internet,  I like to lean into positivity and hope.


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