My first year of Uni I met Luke, we got along like a house on fire and with in months I was counting him as one of my closest friends. In our second year of Uni Luke's Mum was diagnosed with ALS.
I remember so clearly going to his house where his family were gathered after her diagnosis. I'd taken my Dad's copy of 'Tuesdays with Morrie', an inspirational book about an ALS sufferer. Luke's Mum had been given 2 years to live and unfortunately that estimate turned out to be far to generous.
I only saw her a couple more times over the next few months, her deterioration was very quick. When a friend called me to say she had only two weeks to live I went and got flowers and a card. The next step was to head to the hospital but I completely flipped out about what to write on the card. I couldn't turn up at the hospital already crying so stopping at my best friends house to get some advice on what to write and to compose myself.
I was at my friends house writing in that stupid card when I got the call to say she she had passed away. At the time I was devastated that I didn't get to see her but in hindsight I'm not sure it really mattered. She was with her family when she passed and the most important thing to her would have been that I was a good friend to Luke which I was.
The ALS ice bucket challenge has received a lot of criticism. I've seen posts from friends saying that they don't agree with it for various reasons and I agree with some of their points. What I really like though is the ones that say 'I'm not doing the ice bucket challenge but I am going to give blood, donate to X charity or volunteer with X.'
I have had a personal experience with ALS so I am happy to donate to them but I think that we should all be giving to charities that are personal too us. Arguments about which charities are more worthy than others are never going to be resolved because who can honestly be objective about something so personal... I really hope thought that these conversatiosn actually causes you to make a donation rather than argue for arguments sake. Put your money where your mouth is people!!!! So I nominate all of you, not to dump ice water on your head but take the time out to help someone less fortunate than yourself.
xX Bree Kirk-Burnnand
P.S. I'm sorry if this post has made anyone teary eyed but just watch the video a couple more times and I'm sure you'll be smiling again.