What the ALS Challenge Has Done

I watched a video today from a man named Anthony, shared by some of my Facebook friends.

I am not going to provide a link for it because it contains some things that might be offensive, but the overall message was heart-wrenching.

Anthony took the challenge so many people are taking these days, getting doused with ice water to raise funds for research to cure ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Anthony goes a bit far in his efforts to make his challenge original (hence the offensive stuff), and then comes the heart-wrenching part. He shares with his viewers that ALS runs in his family, and he is terrified of the future since he is already showing symptoms. He also is apparently the care-giver for one of his female relatives who already has ALS, and in some tender scenes, we see him tending to her needs.

During the video, Anthony states how he is frustrated because many in the world, so obsessed with social media and instant gratification, are getting tired of what they call this “silly” trend.

Through God’s grace, I can see the value and cleverness of the ALS campaign, and I allowed my children to participate, although I was careful to make sure they encourage donations to the morally acceptable alternative to the ALS charity, which supports embryonic stem cell research. The JPII Medical Research Institute supports research into neurological degenerative disorders using only adult stem cells.

I also wish I could share some thoughts with Anthony and others like him, who are terrified of suffering, and of being perceived by the world as useless and dismissible.

God created all of us to live with Him for eternity, Anthony. This life, with all its difficulties, is only a pilgrimage to get to Him. Each of us is precious simply because we exist. Our world does not know this. Here’s to hoping things like the ALS challenge help our world realize its error.



About Kelly Luttinen

Kelly Luttinen works as a public relations advisor for the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi. She is a wife and mother of four teens and lives in the metro-Detroit area.
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