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Here’s Why People Are Dumping Ice on Themselves and Posting Videos of It

It's all for science

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Charity has taken a chilly turn over the past week, as more and more celebrities and other people have opted to dump ice water on themselves and record the whole thing—all to raise money for research into ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

As a part of the so-called “ice bucket challenge,” started by a Massachusetts resident who has lived with ALS since 2012 to raise awareness for the disease, after posting their own ice-bucket videos, participants nominate others to get drenched via social media to keep the cycle going. If those challenged don’t accept, or fail to post their video within 24-hours, they must donate cash to ALS research. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that impacts the brain and spinal chord, causing progressive paralysis.

Boston has taken heed, with athletes, Mayor Marty Walsh, and others recording themselves getting soaked. Boston.com hosted a citywide dousing last Thursday, challenging New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago to do the same. Celebrities have also taken part, with Lance Bass, Matt Lauer, Martha Stewart and Ansel Elgort among the more notable participants.

No word on how much the challenged has raised for ALS research so far, but the director of the ALS Therapy Development Institute in Massachusetts told the Boston Herald researchers are already seeing a boost in donations.

“We are seeing 10 times the number of online donations every day,” Carol Hamilton told the newspaper. “We are seeing an incredible number of people who didn’t know much about ALS last week and who do today.”

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