My Ice Bucket Challenge

Post 17 — August 30, 2014

Last week, I talked about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I said if you do it, you have to do it right. Soon after I posted it, I (of course) was challenged. After considering what to do for a while, I decided that I must complete the challenge correctly.

Unfortunately, upon returning from vacationing overseas 2 days ago, I fell ill with an unknown fever that left me bed-bound. After returning from hospital and somewhat recovering, I decided that it was time. It has already been past the 24 hour deadline, but a challenge is still a challenge.

However, I stand by me previous post regarding this challenge. Feel free to refer back to it at the following link.

ALS is a very debilitating disease, affecting 0.00195% of the population, and is invariably fatal. It was first described in 1869 in France, but only gained notoriety in 1939 when baseball legend Lou Gehrig’s career ended due to the disease. The first, and only, medication for ALS appeared only appeared in 1996 (127 years after the discovery of the disease). Riluzole, at a cost of $20 per day, can, in some patients, increase survival by two to three months.

Since 1996, there have been numerous clinical trials for other experimental medications, but none have been able to show any benefit. Other experimental treatments in animal models are also underway, but have also proven largely unsuccessful Furthermore, the applicability of the animal models to humans still remain quite speculative.

To date, approximately $80 million has been raised in 2014 (compared to $2.5 million in 2013), mostly due to the Ice Bucket Challenge. We are sending so much money into researching a disease affecting a tiny population with a goal to find a treatment that will prolong survival beyond 2 months.

On a population level, this type of spending is not cost-effective. The return on investment is virtually zero. It took 127 years to find the first effective treatment that only works in some ALS patients to prolong life by approximately 2 months, a further $80 million is not going to advance the cause by much. There are so many other places where this money could have gone that would have saved so many more lives.

As such, my money from completing this challenge will be going elsewhere. Millions of people die from drought and drought-related famine each year. Water is a very simple treatment of drought. Therefore my money will be going to WaterCan instead. Much more cost-effective with a immensely higher ROI.

So on to the challenge.

Non-potable water that has been collected and then placed in the freezer for 30 minutes. As you can see, ice has already begun forming throughout the water, signifying that the water temperature is zero degrees Celsius.

Unlike most of the other challenge videos I've seen, my water is actually cold.

Finally, the video. Freezing; non-potable water, while sick. I think I win this challenge.

Click on the following YouTube link:

P.S. I will not be challenging anyone, as I wish for this phenomenon to end.

Please contact me if you would like my sources for my information above.

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