Ice Bucket Challenge And Life

ice bucket

I am not typically a “current events blogger”.  But, occasionally, I feel the need to do a current events post.  First, I want to state loudly and clearly what I LOVE about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

1.)  ALS Awareness:  Who can’t love the attention ALS is getting these days?  It is incredible!  Videos that are often funny, or failed miserably, done by people who are friends and close to you, and done by the comedians, actors, athletes, etc….  Seriously, what is there not to love about it?

2.)  Viral Generosity:  You got to love generosity that goes viral!  We need more of that in our world!

3.)  I have a long health history:  I have received so much from organizations and people!  Here is a shout out to the  Winn Dixie Hope Lodge – my home away from home when I was receiving radiation.  So, how can I NOT love this?!?

BUT,

As a matter of my conscience, I can not participate in the challenge. Please know, I am not trying to stand in judgement of those who have engaged in the ALS challenge nor am I trying to be a downer to the generosity displayed!!  Hang with me to the end of the post!

ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease.  It is fatal and there is no cure.  My heart goes out to anyone who is facing this disease.  My cancer history (diagnosed at 25 – extensive treatments of chemo and radiation) is now in remission.  But, that and other diseases I have wrestled with causes my heart to go out to those ALS.

The Ice Bucket Challenge And LIFE:

1.)  Follow the money:  The ALS Association is the lead ALS organization.  (http://www.alsa.org).  Keep in mind – not all ALS charities are created equal.  But, the lead ALS charity gave a $500,000 to NEALS last year.  (Will that amount increase this year due to the current viral challenge?  I would assume….)  NEALS runs clinical trials for ALS.  (http://www.alsconsortium.org) And here is the problem:  NEALS uses embryonic stem cells.  Read More Here From Lifenews.com. and a slew of other sources you can easily research this!

I am pro- life.  All life.  ALS lives and babies in the womb lives.  If the heart is beating…. I believe in life!  And so, I have no category for donating to a group that sees no problem with ending a life.

Some, are reading this and they are angry with me.  Some may think I am overreacting.  You might be thinking – if you had ALS you might think differently.  Not true.

2.) My Health History

I also have Crohn’s disease.  Due to my cancer history, I have been unable to take what is considered the typical Crohn’s medications.  They carry a cancer risk and with my cancer history they carry too high of a risk.  So, Crohn’s has been quite the challenge for me.  Much to say…. but I will spare you the details.

My point is that at one time I was offered the opportunity to participated in a stem cell trial research.  Maybe this will be a source of relief!  Maybe this could be an answer!  The excitement and anticipation was incredible.  Thrilled with the news when my doctor told me what he was recommending.  A game changer?  A LIFE changer?  PLEASE!!

And yet, I swallowed hard and asked him – is it adult stem cell or fetus?

I am grateful that he replied it is adult because if it were fetus…. No!  How could I take a life in an effort to save mine?

3.)  My God:  Psalm 139:13-19

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!

(Psalm 139:13-19 ESV)

4.)  My Money

There are so many great organizations out there.  Research them and get involved. Consider how you might not only donate your money but volunteer your time.  Because of my convictions I enjoy supporting Pregnancy Resources.   You might want to look them up, and dump some ice water for them!  Or, if you want to donate for ALS research, my understanding is that Team Gleason is worthy of your donated dollars.

I hope some of the above helps.  Let’s pray for ALS victims today and consider how we might serve them!

 

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4 thoughts on “Ice Bucket Challenge And Life”

  1. Thank you, Tim, for sharing your thoughts. It was brought to my attention with Taylor being asked to do the ice bucket challenge. I didn’t know any details except that she had to have ice water dumped on her head. You’re right! The videos are funny, but once others posted the details about using a fetus, whether it was aborted or discarded embryos, I realized how sad this is. The bad part is so many are like I was…not knowing what this support consisted of and simply enjoying the fun. It’s just that those sending money are supporting such a terrible thing. Thank you for risking whatever may come your way for sharing. Things like this are going to happen and it’s healthy to talk it out, ask questions and discuss.

    1. FYI – the ALS Association has begun to feel the affect of people becoming aware of the dilemma for some. A spokeswoman from ALSA wrote the following:

      The ALS Association primarily funds adult stem cell research. Currently, The Association is funding one study using embryonic stem cells (ESC), and the stem cell line was established many years ago under ethical guidelines set by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); this research is funded by one specific donor, who is committed to this area of research. In fact, donors may stipulate that their funds not be invested in this study or any stem cell project. Under very strict guidelines, The Association may fund embryonic stem cell research in the future.

      My thoughts: This statement was released so that we would no longer feel conflicted. But, when she says “primarily funds adult stem cell research…”. “Primarily” – is not good enough for me. Next, when she says “under the ethical guidelines set by the National Inst…..” Uhm – why would I trust the “ethical guidelines…” of said group? I don’t know – more research needed – knee jerk reaction…? NO Way!

      Next, when she says “you can stipulate funds to not be invested in this study…..” I would say: OR – you can just send your donation to a organization that has ethics at its core and supports life – all of life.

      Lastly, she ends with “Under very strict guidelines, The Association may fund embryonic stem cell research in the future.” end of story for me…

      Thanks for reading Cindy!

  2. So well said. We want to help but need to be very conscious of how the donations are used. Thank you Tim for making me aware.

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