As the ALS Ice Bucket challenge continues to dominate social media feeds worldwide, a mini backlash has started to emerge. Is it really raising money? Should we be wasting all that water? Justin Bieber did it how many times?
But, before you choose a camp, it's important to know the viral phenomenon's humble origins. It began with Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball captain who was diagnosed with ALS when he was just 27 years old.
ESPN produced a gripping seven minute segment that chronicled Frates' journey from baseball prodigy to ALS advocate. The Ice Bucket Challenge was born out of a challenge issued by Frates' friends and family to Boston area athletes. It wasn't long before athletes all across the country were dumping water on themselves in Frates' honor. Soon, it spread far beyond the reaches of the sports world, and well, Justin Bieber did it how many times?
For those of you wondering, The Ice Bucket Challenge has helped raise more than $53 million since July 29, compared to $2.2 million during the same time period last year. So yeah, it's a good thing. But, with the extreme Hollywoodization of the campaign (what celeb hasn't done it?), it can be easy to lose sight of why it exists in the first place.
That's what make's ESPN's piece so sobering. It's an inside look at a truly devastating disease.
Watch the emotional story of Pete Frates below. Oh, and bring Kleenex.