Hudson Valley Parent

HVP October 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 41

26 Hudson Valley Parent ■ October 2014 By KATY WEBER T his past summer, the world of social media was fl ooded with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. In case you somehow missed it, the challenge was meant to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable neurodegen- erative disorder, also known as "Lou Gehrig's disease." Participants in the challenge were dared to fi lm them- selves having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same within 24 hours. If they chose not to accept the challenge, they could instead donate to a charitable ALS foundation (although many people simply chose to do both). Within a month, millions of vid- eos had been posted in America and worldwide, and participants includ- ed celebrities, politicians, profes- sional athletes, and everyday people, including myself. According to the ALS Associa- tion, donations by end of August had topped $100 million, compared to the $2.8 million donated in the same period the previous year. Just as importantly, public awareness of ALS has soared. While some complained that the videos were just a stunt, "slack- tivism" or a waste of water, I was grateful that fi nally more people might understand how terrible this one disease can be to its victims and their families. My father-in-law's story My husband Matthew's father was offi cially diagnosed with ALS when we were pregnant with our fi rst child. When I fi rst met Matt, Dude (everyone called him this, even his wife) owned a hardware store in Wallkill. When Matt and I bought our fi rst house in New Paltz — an old money pit we really couldn't afford — Dude made it livable. He updated the wiring. He moved ra- diators. He sweat the pipes! He was that kind of handy. He was what you'd call a "man's man." He was a Vietnam veteran, a guy who did everything, built ev- erything, repaired everything, knew everything. Just don't ask him to get on a plane (long story). All hail the ice buckets! What ALS means to one local family My daughter, Anna, with Dude the last time we saw him alive.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hudson Valley Parent - HVP October 2014