By now you’ve probably noticed that the social media websites are being flooded with videos of people, including many prominent figures like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and LeBron James, dumping a bucket of ice cold water over their head.

 If you’ve thought what this is all about, here’s your answer.

 The Ice Bucket Challenge was started by the ALS Association to raise awareness and funds for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, named after the baseball legend Lou Gehrig, whose career and life was cut short due to this disease.ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The cause of ALS is not completely understood, but with modern scientific developments, medical researchers are discovering new information regarding the physiology of this disease.

Before the Ice Bucket Challenge most people have probably never heard of this disease. Since this challenge has gone viral in social media, the ALS Association has received tremendous support, bringing in $41.8 million in donations compared to $2.1 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 21). This gives the ALS Association, researchers, and patients much hope to find a cure to ALS disease soon.

If you are ready to participate in this challenge, the rules are very simple. You will need:

1.  A bucket

2.  Lots of Ice

3.  Cold Water

4.  A video capturing device

5.  Access to the internet to upload the recorded clip

Once you have the above, it is time to film yourself pouring a bucket of iced water over your head, post the video to social media and then nominate your friends to do the same. Your friends have 24 hours to accept the challenge. If you or your friends rather not have iced water dumped on the head, you can opt out of donating $100 to help ALS Association research a cure for this disease.

To learn more about ALS, please visit: http://www.alsa.org/about-als/what-is-als.html

To read stories of people with ALS, please visit: http://www.alsa.org/about-als/aam-2014/stories/